Halifax Shipyard celebrates 120 years and steel cutting of new offshore
supply ship

HALIFAX, Sept. 21 /CNW/ - Halifax Shipyard today celebrated 120 years of continuous shipbuilding. The men and women of the shipyard were joined by Premier Dexter, who marked the milestone with the cutting of steel for a new state-of-the-art offshore supply vessel to serve off the coast of Sable Island.

"I congratulate the men and women of the Halifax Shipyard as they celebrate 120 years of shipbuilding excellence," said Premier Darrell Dexter. "Today I also want to recognize how important it is that the Irving family is securing the future of Halifax Shipyard through their continued investments and support," said Premier Dexter.

"Today we take pride in our past and uphold Halifax Shipyard's commitment to excellence in the 21st century with the construction of a new state-of-the-art offshore vessel," said Steve Durrell, President of Irving Shipbuilding. "From the age of sail to the engineering and construction some of the world's most advanced commercial and military vessels, the Halifax Shipyard has helped Canada preserve the peace and deliver "made-in-Canada" products to markets around the globe. Today the 589 skilled men and women of the Halifax Shipyard are focused on continuing this proud tradition through superior quality, value and customer service. The future is bright and over the next 12 months we look forward to doubling our workforce as a result of existing and new contracts we have won."

"Atlantic Towing is very pleased to be supporting EnCana's efforts to grow Nova Scotia's offshore oil and gas industry with a world-class offshore supply vessel built by skilled Nova Scotians," said John Murphy, Vice President of Irving Transportation Services. "We thank the Premier for his strong commitment to ensuring that Nova Scotia's workers and suppliers realize the most benefit from harvesting the Province's offshore resources.

"Our Nova Scotian crews look forward to serving this contract with a world-class offshore supply vessel from our base in Halifax," Murphy said. "This long-term contract will also provide a multi-million benefit to several Nova Scotian suppliers of Atlantic Towing. We appreciate the vote of confidence from EnCana and are committed to delivering the best value and service to this important customer."

"As a third-generation shipyard worker, I am proud to celebrate the 120 years of great history at this yard. Today, the hard work of the men and women at this yard are continuing to secure a strong future for the next generation. Orders for new ships from valued customers like Atlantic Towing and the Government of Canada are the best tribute to the quality workmanship we are committed to delivering to customers," said Karl Risser, President of Local 1 of the CAW Marine Workers Federation. "On behalf of our members, we thank Premier Dexter for his commitment to ensure the maximum number of Nova Scotians are benefitting from our offshore oil and gas developments."

The building and commissioning of the new vessel will employ 180 shipyard workers at the project's peak and will provide 425,000 person hours of employment. The building of the new ship will generate an estimated payroll of $20 million and will result in about $14 million in purchases of goods and services from approximately 50 Nova Scotian suppliers.

Atlantic Towing will operate the new vessel's long-term contract with EnCana. In serving the Deep Panuke platform, the vessel will provide over 50,000 person hours of work per year for Atlantic Towing, employing 22 crew members in Nova Scotia.

Delivery of the offshore supply vessel is forecasted for the fourth quarter of 2010.

The Halifax drydock celebrated its opening 120 years ago with the arrival of the HMS Canada, a three-masted frigate. The Halifax graving dock was the largest in North America and took three years to build at a cost of $1 million.

SOURCE IRVING SHIPBUILDING INC.

For further information: For further information: Mary Keith, Irving Shipbuilding Inc., (506) 632-5122 Office, (506) 650-8209 Cell; (PHOTOS AVAILABLE)

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IRVING SHIPBUILDING INC.

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