Vard Holdings Limited, the Norwegian-based wholly owned subsidiary of Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, has established a subsidiary for ship design, engineering and sales activities in Canada.

Based in Vancouver, Vard Marine will provide ship design and marine engineering solutions for offshore and specialized vessels. Notably, a press release says the company, drawing on its parent firm’s design expertise, will construct and develop “integrated solutions for highly customized vessels” as it “aims to grow to a leading position in the North American market.”

The announcement comes as Canada gradually moves forward with the Royal Canadian Navy’s future surface combatant and Arctic patrol ships and on a range of Coast Guard and other government vessels.

“Our establishment in Canada is VARD’s first foothold in North America. We are now ready to build new relations and position ourselves as a major player in an interesting region with large opportunities,” said CEO and executive director Roy Reite.

VARD provides a wide range of services including ship design, marine electronics and electrical systems, equipment packages and support for all aspects of the shipbuilding process. The new subsidiary will offer such services as part of their product range.