Building Ships Indoors: Davie Shipyard’s Ambitious Project

Building Ships Indoors: Davie Shipyard’s Ambitious Project

Richard Ali Davy walks lightly around the shipyard. He knows every nook and cranny of the site, which stretches over 1.5 km along the St Lawrence River in Levis, like the back of his hand. He worked there since 1987.

It’s more than a job, here, it’s a life!He says.

The 61-year-old is Chantier Davie’s vice president of operations. Its role was to modernize the yard to build seven icebreakers for the Canadian Coast Guard. He agreed to postpone his retirement for at least five years to do so. For him, not participating was unthinkable Upgrade Build from construction site Ships twice as big In Levi’s.

It has sentimental value! »

A quote Richard Ali, Vice President of Operations, Chantier Davie

Richard Ali is Chantier Davie’s vice president of operations. He says his family members and his neighbors have been working at the site for years. Modernization and futures contracts are unheard of in 100 years.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Pierre-Alexandre Bolduc

Personally, it’s huge. My two daughters work here. My wife works here. So for others it’s kind of emotionalSomeone who started out as a laborer, 30 years ago, at the bottom of the ladder, explains.

A new building like Excellent piece

The biggest change coming is the construction of a huge hangar to accommodate the huge ships inside. This is one of the criteria for getting contracts with the Canadian government.

Currently, surveyors are taking measurements at the site. The search for construction contractors has already started. The works are scheduled to start in 2024.

It is really a master facilityPascale Tabet, manager of these new infrastructures, explains.

Our staff will be building safely and comfortably, indoors, year-round. »

A quote Pascale Tabet, Vice President, Site Development and Integration, Chantier Davie

According to Richard Ali, being protected from the weather will increase production at the site by at least 50%.

Do not expose to the sun. We are not exposed to rain and snow. At minus 20 degrees, assembling ships is an unimaginable amount of energy and effort.He explains.

A huge assembly hangar will allow ships to be built inside.

A huge assembly hangar will allow ships to be built inside. This is one of the most important criteria for getting contracts from the central government.

Photo: Davie Shipyard

Shipbuilding development includes a new assembly line for many steel panels of all sizes and shapes used to build ships. Existing on-site equipment such as overhead cranes will all be replaced with new ones with improved lifting capacity and even more automated and robotic equipment.

We will have a new paint shop and, of course, new buildings dedicated to administration and staff.Adds Pascale Tabet.

Pascal Tabet is vice president of site development and integration at Santee Davie.

Pascal Tabet is vice president of site development and integration at Santee Davie.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Pierre-Alexandre Bolduc

Goal: A first snowfall by 2030

The goal is to deliver the first ship to the Coast Guard by 2030Richard Ali begins.

The timeline for the VP of operations is simple, though it’s not set in stone. His team aims to complete construction of the new buildings by 2026. After that the first ice breaker will be launched. Construction will take three years for delivery in 2030.

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Richard Ali explains that construction takes half the time of other icebreakers because the crew gets used to the process.

This will allow it to be the best shipyard in Canada.

The future location of the assembly hangar keeps the ships indoors, warm, and protected from the weather.

The future location of the assembly hangar keeps the ships indoors, warm, and protected from the weather.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Pierre-Alexandre Bolduc

Signatures still pending…

Although the shipyard has been part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy since April 4, the company does not currently hold any official federal contracts.

We will continue to negotiate with the Government of Canada for each of the future shipping contracts.Marcel Boulin, director of foreign and industrial investments, explains.

Officers [fédéraux] We sat down with our teams to start talking about ship design in particular. Conversations are happening now.

Marcel Paul is expecting news on formalizing each of the seven Avalanche deals by the end of the summer.

Marcel Boulin is Director of External Affairs and Industry Engagement at Chantier Davie.

Marcel Boulin is Director of External Affairs and Industry Engagement at Chantier Davie.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Pierre-Alexandre Bolduc

Recruitment Challenge

The site currently has 800 workers. In three years, another 1,000 will be needed. Company officials were not too concerned. Recruitment has already started and the working conditions are attractive, the organization said.

A few years ago, the average salary of our employees was $90,000. Starting salary is $32 an hourIntroducing Marcel Poulin.

He says site staff work a four-day-a-week schedule.

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