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Coast-to-Coast Collaboration: Genoa Design and Seaspan Shipyards Unite for Canada’s Cutting-Edge Polar Icebreaker

Artist concept of new polar icebreaker.

Artist concept of new polar icebreaker. Image source: https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/app-acq/amd-dp/mer-sea/sncn-nss/polaire-polar-eng.html

Recently in St. John’s, Genoa Design International of Newfoundland and Labrador and Seaspan Shipyards of British Columbia inked a deal related to Canada’s upcoming Polar Icebreaker construction. The agreement outlines Genoa’s provision of 3D modeling and design technology services, engaging approximately 100 employees for the project over the next few years.

“Through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, Seaspan is helping to transform Canada’s shipbuilding and marine industries through innovation, partnerships and developing world-class talent. Our relationship with Genoa goes back many years and we are excited to have them continue to partner with us as we design and build the first heavy Polar Icebreaker in Canada in more than 60 years. Over the next 25 years, Seaspan plans to deliver 19 large, complex vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Navy and with the help of a sustainable, strategic industry stretching from coast to coast,” explained Leo Martin, Senior Vice President, Programs, Seaspan Shipyards.

Genoa Design has been a key player in previous vessels at Seaspan Shipyards under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). With expertise in digital ship models and a global track record in cold-ocean technology and ice-prone environments, Genoa is poised to form an ideal partnership for the Icebreaker.

“This is a significant day for Genoa of course, but also for Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada as a whole,” expressed Gina Pecore, CEO, Genoa Design International. “Genoa’s contribution to the Polar Icebreaker and the continued faith in the company’s capabilities that Seaspan has shown demonstrate the considerable benefits of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. It also shows that companies in this province can successfully collaborate widely regardless of geography or time zone. This new project will provide exciting work to our highly skilled employees for years to come and the knowledge gained will serve Genoa well as we look to future opportunities.”

As the future flagship of the Canadian Coast Guard’s icebreaking fleet, the Polar Icebreaker will weigh around 28,000 tonnes, stretch 158 meters long, and house up to 100 personnel. Innovative design and construction will enable the unnamed vessel to operate further north and for longer periods than any current icebreaker in Canada. Production is set to commence in late 2024.

The Polar Icebreaker, designed for operation in the Arctic’s ice-covered waters, will play a vital role in supporting the Canadian Coast Guard’s transit and protection efforts along more than 162,000 km of Arctic coastline. These capabilities will help sustain a year-round presence in Canada’s North, supporting Indigenous Peoples, northern communities, Arctic sovereignty, high-Arctic science, and emergency response.

Part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy since its announcement in 2010, the Polar Icebreaker contributes to the renewal of Canada’s federal fleet while offering economic benefits and rebuilding the country’s shipbuilding industry.

The collaboration on the Polar Icebreaker builds on the existing relationship between Genoa and Seaspan, which has seen joint efforts on various projects under the NSS, including two Joint Support Ships for the Royal Canadian Navy, the CCGS John Cabot, and an Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel for the Canadian Coast Guard.

“The Canadian Coast Guard eagerly awaits the design and construction of the polar icebreakers, which will extend our on-water operations and ensure the continuous delivery of critical services in the high Arctic. This includes search and rescue, environmental and humanitarian response, as well as playing a key role in supporting ocean science. Congratulations to Seaspan Shipyards and Genoa Design International on striking this new partnership,” said Mario Pelletier, Commissioner, Canadian Coast Guard.

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