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Davie unveils large naval ship built in Canada

2017-07-21

McKeil Marine's Evans Spirit  won the International Bulk Journal's 2016 Ship of the Year Award during the IBJ's Salute to Excellence in the Maritime Bulk Industry gala awards ceremony in London, UK on November 21.
"It's a fantastic way to closeout our 60th anniversary year: having a vessel named after our founder, Evans McKeil, win this prestigious international award," said Steve Fletcher, President and CEO of McKeil Marine.
Acquired by McKeil in 2015, the Evans Spirit is a cargo ship with the shallow draught characters of a tug and barge; however, compared to a tug-and-barge unit, she can transport approximately 40 per cent more cargo about 50 per cent faster on a very similar amount of fuel.  She is in service throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
Evans Spirit was shortlisted for 2016 Ship of the Year competing with three other vessels: CS Bright, Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan;  Damen Shipyards, Netherlands; and MN Baroque, Swiss Marine, Switzerland. The award is presented to the owner, operator or builder of an outstanding individual bulk ship. Judged on operational efficiency, design innovation, safety and environmental protection, the Evans Spirit was selected as winner. (Photo Paul Beesley).

Chantier Davie of Lévis, QC on the St. Lawrence River unveiled on July 20 the Asterix, the first large naval ship to be built in Canada in more than 20 years. The supply vessel is expected to enter into service with the Royal Canadian Navy by the end of this year.

Project Resolve, as the undertaking was described, consisted of converting a German containership, which arrived in Lévis in October 2015, into an Auxiliary Oiler Replenisment (AOR) ship to support the operations of the Royal Canadian Navy.

"The delivery of this ship will restore Canada's ability to form a naval task group," said Alex Vicefield, Chairman of Canada's biggest shipbuilder. "What a great way to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary."

The Resolve-Class $660 million naval support ship will be the largest naval platform in service with the Royal Canadian Navy for the foreseeable future and will provide a wide range of functions from at-sea replenishment of fuels and cargo to aviation support, fleet medical support and humanitarian and disaster relief.

This program, said Davie,  involves three levels of innovation for Canada allowing the delivery of a most needed ship in a timely manner and with the best value for Canadian taxpayers. Firstly, instead of building a ship from new, a modern containership has been converted into a state-of-the-art naval support ship. Secondly, the ship has been privately financed by Davie and will be leased to Canada - that means a fixed, transparent cost to the Canadian taxpayer. Thirdly, Federal Fleet Services, Davie sister company, will operate the ship with a mixed crew of merchant seafarers and Royal Canadian Navy personnel.

The traditional breaking of the sacrificial champagne bottle on the bow by the sponsor of the ship in order to bless the ship and her crew was performed by Mrs. Pauline Théberge, spouse of  the Honourable J. Michel Doyon, the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec.

The Davie shipyard workforce of 1,369 together with over 900 Canadian  suppliers spent just under two years on the construction of the Asterix. The ship is 182.5 meters long and capable of transporting up to 7000 tonnes of fuel at speeds of up to 25 knots. It features two cranes allowing the loading and unloading of containers which are accessible at sea, a helicopter deck, two hangars for helicopters, a hospital able to accommodate 60 patients and kitchens able to feed 1,000 people. (photo Davie)

 
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