Davie is Goliath – for now

Davie’s recently launched Cecon Pride
The past twist and turns, ups and downs, of Davie Shipyard
in Quebec City are legendary and certainly worthy of its own book. However, the
yard is actually on what appears to be, quite a rebound. 
The yard, established
192 years ago, was re-launch in 2012 after a tumultuous decade of financial
woes. The revival is steered by a new management team supplied by European
based, ZM Industries. Shunned in the National Ship Procurement Strategy (NSPS),
the yard seems to have licks its wounds, and come out swinging.
Cecon offshore construction ships
Earlier in the year, Davie delivered the first Cecon vessel,
the Cecon Pride, originally ordered in 2008. The Cecon Pride is a specialized
offshore construction vessel, and one of three vessels trapped at the yard
after financial trouble hit, yet again, in 2010. 
The order for specialized
offshore oil and gas support vessels were a major coup for the Canadian yard;
to finally release one of them to their European owners, was a major milestone,
considering the painful process they, and their suppliers, underwent.
The yard still has two more copies of the Cecon vessels to
finish, the Cecon Excellence, and Cecon Sovereign. The yard will then begin on
their contract with the Province of Quebec, building two new LNG powered ferries.
Announced at the height of the National Ship Procurement Strategy (NSPS)
fanfare, in order to meet NSPS bid submission requirements, the Quebec provincial
government gave Davie a $120 million contract to build two new LNG fuelled
ferries. The new vessels with GT of 3500 tons, are 92 meter long, have been
designed by STX of Vancouver (now Vard), and will start building in 2015.
STQ’s new dual fuel ferry designed by Vancouver based Vard (ex STX)
Davie, as a subcontractor to Babcock Canada, recently
completed a vessel life extension on the Louis St Laurent, the Canadian Coast
Guards flagship, which was “on-time and on budget”. The yard even went after
the John Diefenbaker contract, asking the federal government to reconsider the
NSPS contract to Vancouver’s Seaspan. 
When asked recently about possibility of
Davie getting the Diefenbaker, Brian Carter, President of Seaspan Shipyards,
snarled back at the line of questioning, saying there was “not a hope in hell”,
or something to that affect.
In March 2014, the yard employed 850 workers, making it the
biggest shipyard operation in Canada. It’s sits opposite Quebec City on the St
Lawrence River, and is a major employer in the region. The yard has recently
contracted UK based Faststream Recruitment to seek out an additional 50 skilled
employees. According to their newsletter, the firm is looking at poaching Romanians
shipyard workers to fill the gap. 

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