To help bolster B.C.’s ship-repair capacity, foster economic growth and create good jobs for people in the Alberni Valley, the Province is supporting a study for the market potential of a floating dry-dock project in Port Alberni.
“We recognize the importance of creating jobs and improving the quality of life for people in Port Alberni,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “This study will help determine the market opportunity and feasibility for the construction of this facility, which could renew economic opportunities for this coastal community. Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns and I are excited for this step toward creating good jobs and building a strong marine economy in the Alberni Valley.”
The Province is investing $50,000 to assess current dry-dock capacity in the region and whether additional B.C. ship-repair capacity through the construction of a floating dry dock would be supported by anticipated market demand. Additional funding of $75,000 from the Port Alberni Port Authority, the City of Port Alberni and Canadian Maritime Engineering will also be provided to complete the study, for a total of $125,000.
“This operation could provide good, long-term jobs for people in Port Alberni, bringing sustained economic prosperity into the community,” said Scott Fraser, Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA. “I expect this study to show how building a floating dry dock in Port Alberni has the potential to make a positive difference to the economic well-being of people here, and I am happy this important study is being undertaken.”
The floating dry-dock project is expected to cost $48 million to build, with Canadian Maritime Engineering having committed $12 million to the project, should it move forward. Preliminary estimates suggest the facility could create 100 jobs in Port Alberni and generate revenues of $37 million per year. The estimate is based on work packages for the Canadian Navy and Coast Guard, working yard construction and modular works, vessel decommissioning, commercial marine fleets and BC Ferries.
"The Port Alberni Port Authority is very pleased to receive funding from the Province to complete this work,” said Ron Crema, chair of the Port Authority’s board of directors. “We appreciate our ongoing partnership with the City of Port Alberni and Canadian Maritime Engineering. Initiatives like this to enhance our marine cluster can only be achieved by such productive partnerships."
A report on the results of the study is expected to be delivered to City of Port Alberni, the Port Alberni Port Authority and Canadian Maritime Engineering in fall 2018.
- B.C.’s industrial marine sector contributes $880 million to the province’s gross domestic product and employs more than 20,000 people.
- The B.C. shipbuilding and ship-repair sector employs nearly 4,000 workers. It is expected to continue to grow through opportunities that include the federal government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy non-combat vessel package, and a major vessel-replacement program underway from BC Ferries.
- Further, BC Ferries is the largest consumer of B.C. ship-repair services, outside of naval programs, investing over $1.1 billion in the past 10 years.