East Isle Shipyard, Prince Edward Island's largest shipbuilder, has secured a $21 million contract to construct two new tug boats for customers in the Dominican Republic as well as a third tug for Atlantic Towing, Limited. The new contract means employment for 120 shipyard workers. The shipyard had been idle since September of 2002 when a fourth tug for the Panama Canal Authority was completed.
"This contract for three tugs demonstrates confidence in the skill of our Island shipyard workers. The Government of Canada’s contribution reflects its commitment to supporting a skilled and innovative workforce and helping to stimulate investment in the shipbuilding industry," said the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Member of Parliament for Cardigan, speaking on behalf of the Honourable Allan Rock, Minister of Industry and the Honourable Jane Stewart, Minister of Human Resources Development. "I have always stressed the importance of creating more jobs and opportunity for eastern PEI. The awarding of this shipbuilding contract will mean just that for the workers of the East Isle Shipyard."
"This is wonderful news for the province and particularly for the community of Georgetown," said Premier Pat Binns. "My government has worked hard to assure the continuation of this important industry and are pleased to assist with a low interest repayable loan of $4.14 million. It's good to see East Isle win another important contract in the international marketplace."
"East Isle Shipyard continues to build a global reputation for state?of?the?art tug construction," said Mike Currie, Minister of Development and Technology. "I am very pleased East Isle Shipyard secured this major international contract that will have a very positive impact on the local economy. This contract is the best testimony to the world class skill of Island shipbuilders."
Through Industry Canada's Structured Financing Facility there will be a $1.7 million federal contribution to this project as an incentive to attract investment. The Canada/Prince Edward Island Labour Market Development Agreement, co?managed by Human Resources Development Canada and the provincial Department of Development and Technology will provide up to $597,600 in wage subsidies to provide employment and experience for a number of trades people in the shipbuilding industry.
East Isle Shipyard estimates that the three new tugs will create $5.6 million in total payroll and benefit 50 Island businesses that will supply approximately $750,000 in goods and services during the construction of the tugs.
"We appreciate the clear vote of confidence that both levels of government have demonstrated in the men and women of East Isle Shipyard. Today's announcement would not be happening were it not for the governments belief in Island workers and quality, world class tugs
," said Jim Irving, President of Irving Shipbuilding Inc. "We are determined to maintain a tug building center of excellence here at Georgetown."
Steel cutting for first of three tugs has commenced already. Workers will be recalled for June 9th and construction at East Isle will officially begin on June 10th, 2003. The first tug is due for completion in April of 2004. The second tug will follow in late May and the third vessel is forecasted for delivery in July 2004.
The project will continue to build the skill and expertise of electric crane operators, shipbuilders, carpenters, electricians, enginefitters, labourers, machinists, maintenance workers, mobile equipment operators, pipefitters and other positions.
"This new international customer is great news for our Island shipbuilding center of excellence. With each new tug that we produce, the company becomes more competitive and respected in the global marketplace by improving our efficiency and productivity," said Jim Shepherd of East Isle Shipyard.
Export Development Canada has arranged 80% of the financing with the support of the Structured Financing Facility of Industry Canada.