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Seaspan Exceeds $1B in Contracts to Canadian Companies for JSS

JSS1 Progress photos taken on February 26, 2021. Safety approved on March 4, 2021.

As the COVID-19 pandemic creates a critical need to sustain jobs and drive economic recovery across the country, Seaspan Shipyards announced that it has awarded more than $1 billion in contracts to date to 140 Canadian companies from coast to coast that are supporting design and construction of two Joint Support Ships (JSSs) for the Royal Canadian Navy. Seaspan will continue to award JSS contracts to its Canadian supply chain partners as additional services and materials are required between now and 2025 when the second JSS will be delivered.

The two JSSs, which are the largest naval ships by length ever to be constructed in Canada, are being built as part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), a multi-decade program to renew the federal fleet and create economic impact and employment opportunities across the country. The JSS program is expected to sustain 3,900 jobs in the Canadian marine industry between now and 2025, including more than 1,000 at Seaspan.

According to a recent economic impact study completed by Deloitte, Seaspan Shipyards has become an economic engine for the domestic marine industry, with more than $1.5 billion contributed to Canada’s GDP to date. For every dollar spent by Seaspan on NSS program work, a dollar is added to Canada’s GDP. The company’s cross-Canada NSS supply chain has more than 670 Canadian businesses, including hundreds of small and medium-size enterprises that count on Seaspan as an anchor customer.

Construction of the first JSS is well advanced, with over 90% of the ship’s blocks currently in production. One of the 1,500-tonne grand blocks of JSS 1 was recently moved into final position in the shipyard, and the major blocks that make up the ship’s bow section, including the bulbous bow, are also being integrated. Seaspan is now preparing for the arrival and installation of the main engines.  

The JSSs are the second class of NSS ships being constructed at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyard. In October 2020, Seaspan completed the first full class of ships under the NSS, delivering the three Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSVs) to the Canadian Coast Guard in just 15 months. Construction and delivery of the third OFSV was completed by working continuously, and safely, through the COVID-19 pandemic. Later this month, Seaspan is expected to begin construction on its third class of vessel for the NSS, the Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (OOSV) for the Canadian Coast Guard. The JSS and OOSV will be constructed concurrently at Seaspan’s modern, high-capacity shipyard in North Vancouver.

Seaspan is expected to begin awarding contracts for the construction phase of the OOSV program shortly.

Mark Lamarre, Chief Executive Officer, Seaspan Shipyards stated, “Seaspan knows first-hand that no one builds ships alone and that the success of our shipyard depends on the success of our supply chain. Crossing the billion-dollar mark in contracts awarded for the JSS is confirmation of real progress on a couple of fronts. It demonstrates that the construction of JSS1 is well advanced, and that, thanks to the NSS, Canada now has the mature marine supply chain needed to deliver it. At a time when sustaining jobs and restarting the economy are paramount, Seaspan and our Canadian supply chain are firing on all cylinders to deliver ships, jobs and economic impact across the country.”


  • With a length of 173.7 metres and a breadth of 24 metres, the JSS is the largest naval ship by length ever to be built in Canada.
  • JSS 1, HMCS Protecteur, and JSS 2, HMCS Preserver, will replace the former Protecteur-class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment vessels.
  • As a fully equipped warship, the JSS will provide critical at-sea replenishment for Canadian and allied naval task groups, enabling them to extend their range and endurance through the provision of fuel, ammunition, aviation support, food, spare parts, exercise and gym facilities, and medical and dental care.
  • Seaspan has become one of the most modern shipyards in North America, following its $185M shipyard modernization, development of a skilled workforce of 2,700, and state-of-the-art, purpose-built infrastructure to deliver the entire non-combat fleet, including the Polar Icebreaker.

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