HALIFAX – The president of Irving Shipbuilding says the design phase of the Arctic offshore patrol ships is under budget and on time in Halifax.
Kevin McCoy says costs on the $250-million design phase of the ships is between $20 million and $30 million under budget.
The final numbers are expected at the end of 2015.
McCoy says most of the design is complete and construction of the vessels is still scheduled to begin next September.
“We’ve got a lot of work to accomplish next fall and we’re definitely on schedule to get there,” he said.
“For the next year we’ll finish up the final design…so we’re at the 95 per cent point.”
The federal government has said it plans to build six to eight of the ships, but the auditor general has warned the navy may not get the type or number of vessels it needs because of cost restrictions.
On Wednesday morning, federal, provincial and municipal officials signed the last piece of structural steel for the production building where the ships are to be built., and watched as it was installed.
“Now with this final piece of steel, what once seemed an impossible dream is being realized right here in Halifax,” said Halifax Mayor Mike Savage.
The production facility is made up of more than 8,000 tons of structural steel, and is about 1,200 feet long. Once completed, Peter MacKay says it will be the biggest and most sophisticated facility of its kind.
“It certainly doesn’t stop with the completion of this facility, this building this monstrosity that is going to be home to the next generation of Canada’s navy ships,” said MacKay.
A contract to build the patrol ships is expected to be signed in January.
With files from Mayya Assouad, Global News
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