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    Haisla in Major Tugboat Contract with LNG Canada


Contract is one of the largest yet awarded by Shell-led consortium

by: Dale Lunan

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Haisla in Major Tugboat Contract with LNG Canada

HaiSea Marine, a joint venture of Haisla Nation and marine services provider Seaspan, has been awarded a 12-year, $500mn contract to design, build and operate escort and harbour tugs for the $40bn LNG Canada project in Kitimat, BC, Seaspan said August 27.

It is one of the single largest contracts awarded by the Anglo-Dutch Shell-led LNG Canada consortium, behind only the engineering, procurement and construction contract awarded to a joint venture of Japan’s JGC and the global Fluor group and the $6.82bn pipeline contract awarded to TC Energy.

“LNG Canada has committed to ensuring benefits from our project accrue to First Nations, local communities and BC businesses, and this contract is part of that commitment,” LNG Canada CEO Peter Zebedee said. “The legacy the LNG Canada project will leave, in part, is the long-term, high-skilled jobs for First Nations and local community members. HaiSea was selected because they were able to demonstrate technical capability, operational expertise, and training at world class levels.”

The HaiSea Marine contract will provide employment for 70 mariners and six on-shore staff, plus other roles for employees of the partner organisations.

“HaiSea Marine is majority-owned by the Haisla,” Haisla chief councillor Crystal Smith said. “Our agreement with Seaspan ensures our members will have access to employment, training and procurement opportunities on the contract with LNG Canada. The opportunity to work locally in the marine industry is of great significance to the Haisla people.”

The LNG Canada terminal in Kitimat is located on traditional Haisla territory, but benefits from the contract will also flow to the neighbouring Gitxaala and Gitga’at First Nations through a transit agreement with the Haisla.

During operations, LNG carriers will require harbour tugs to provide berthing and unberthing assistance in Kitimat. The tugs will also provide transportation of material and personnel, marine emergency response, firefighting and oil pollution response.

Escort tugs are required to escort LNG carriers from Triple Island in the Haida Gwaii to the terminal at Kitimat, a distance of about 159 nautical miles. The tugs are yet to be constructed and will go into service shortly prior to production commencing, which is estimated before mid-next decade.

“Seaspan owns a large fleet, has extensive new-build experience and has the largest pool of tug masters and engineers in BC, providing us with the scale to train for and operate the project in a cost-efficient manner,” Seaspan Marine Transportation CEO Frank Butzelaar said. “Our innovative training and safety programs ensure that HaiSea mariners will be well prepared to support the safest project on earth.”

Vancouver-based Robert Allan Ltd., an independent, privately-owned firm of consulting naval architects and marine engineers, has been contracted to design the new vessels.

(Banner photo courtesy Haisla Nation; artist Lyle Wilson)