For companies in this province hoping to get a foot in on supplying the $25-billion in shipbuilding work in Halifax over the next 20 to 30 years, Irving Shipbuilding has laun-ched an online registry of suppliers.
Interested companies are encouraged to the site (www.irvingshipbuilding.com/irving-shipbuilding-contact-suppliers.aspx) and provide information on their capabilities and what they can offer to the vessel construction program. The site was launched Tuesday.
The information will form a go-to database for Irving Shipbuilding as needed, but is also expected to allow the company to communicate on contracts and projects with suppliers.
"Although we are only 90 days into a 30-year process, we felt it was crucial to capture the interest expressed by many local, national and global companies in becoming part of the Irving Shipbuilding supply chain," Steve Durrell, president of Irving Shipbuilding, stated in a news release. "We're currently working on laying important groundwork with the federal government, including the recently announced agreement in principle as well as negotiating the contract for the first set of vessels," Durrell stated.
"We hope to be in a position to begin production on the first set of vessels in late 2013. No supplier selection related to NSPS programs has taken place as yet. We will only be in a position to begin supplier selection when we finalize those agreements and receive further detail on vessel designs and specifications."
It is important to note that "registering on the system does not guarantee suppliers will be successful in obtaining work for the upcoming vessel construction projects," according to the company.
Since Oct. 19, 2011 - when it was announced the Irving shipyard was selected by the federal government as the site of construction of 21 combat vessels, under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy - Irving Shipbuilding has received more than 550 inquiries about potential opportunities in supplying goods and services to the vessel construction projects.
In addition, Irving has received over 7,000 applications for jobs at the Halifax yard. Thousands of skilled workers are expected to be hired as work moves forward, with Jim Irving saying last week that the company is already scouting for workers from Western Canada.