After several months of anticipation and preparation, and the careful consideration of hundreds of student submissions, Seaspan officially revealed the name of its newly assembled, 300-tonne gantry crane at a boisterous unveiling ceremony at Vancouver Shipyards (VSY) today.
Announcing the crane’s new name - Hiyí Skwáyel, the Squamish language translation of “Big Blue” (pronounced hee-yay sk-why-el) – was the final step in an extensive evaluation process that began with a two-week long “Crane Naming Contest” with North Vancouver School District students, from March 3 – 14. The contest, which called on more than 4400 students in Grades 4-7 from 25 schools across North Vancouver to come up with their best proposed name in two words or less, produced an overwhelming response, with 228 original submissions, including the winning entry from Boundary Elementary’s Ella Tinto.
“The number of great names and quality of the creative inspiration we received was nothing short of incredible, and Seaspan is honoured to have had the opportunity to collaborate with a long-standing community partner,” said Brian Carter, President, Seaspan Shipyards. “Our new 300-tonne gantry crane not only marks a major milestone in the Government of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS), but it also represents a permanent fixture in the North Shore skyline and the future of North Vancouver.”
The crane is a critical component of Seaspan’s Shipyard Modernization Project, a two-year, $200 million project, when completed this Fall, will provide state-of-the-art facilities to efficiently deliver Non-Combat vessels for the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard, and establish a world-class shipbuilding and ship repair centre of excellence on the West Coast.
“We proudly believe that our new crane exemplifies Seaspan’s unwavering commitment to its investment in people, processes and equipment,” said Brian. “Once our modernized facilities are operational, Seaspan will begin construction on NSPS work that will create 5,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs over the next 20 years, produce almost $500 million per year in gross domestic product for B.C.’s economy, and mean thousands of young people will get the opportunity for an exciting new career in shipbuilding.”
Once complete, the crane will be the biggest of its kind in Canada, towering 80 metres high and spanning 76 metres wide. Assembly, hook-up, testing and commissioning of the crane is expected to be completed this summer.