After months of planning and anticipation, Seaspan’s new 300-tonne Gantry Crane arrived at Vancouver Shipyards on February 20. Once erected, this colossal crane will be the largest Gantry Crane in Canada, towering 80 metres high and spanning 76 metres wide, and mark a significant milestone in Vancouver Shipyard’s Modernization Project. The two-year, $200 million project, which began in October 2012 and is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2014, will provide a new state-of-the-art facility, allowing Seaspan to efficiently deliver Non-Combat Vessels for the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard.

“The transformation of Vancouver Shipyards has been incredible as we continue to build a world-class shipbuilding and ship repair centre of excellence on the West Coast,” said Brian Carter, President of Seaspan Shipyards. “Today’s event is a further demonstration of Seaspan’s huge commitment to investing in people, processes and equipment, and is the latest landmark in the future of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy."

Due to its massive size, the crane was shipped in three large pieces – the fixed leg, hinged leg and main girder – along with thousands of smaller components from China via a deep sea ship to Fraser Surrey Docks, before being offloaded and transported to Seaspan’s North Vancouver location. Assembly, hook-up, testing and commissioning of the crane will take place over the next several months, with completion targeted for this summer.

“Once operational, this crane will play a pivotal role in our shipbuilding business well into the future,” said Brian. “It is a very exciting time at Seaspan Shipyards. Not only are our new facilities taking shape, but development activities are moving full-steam ahead as we prepare to build the next generation of vessels for the men and women of the Canadian Coast Guard in October 2014.”