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Irving shipyard contract a positive for Lunenburg firm

by Robert Hirtle

 LUNENBURG - The recently announced $25 billion shipbuilding contract awarded to Irving Shipbuilding Inc. in Halifax by the federal government will likely have a positive ripple down effect on a number of Lunenburg companies.

 Both Lunenburg Industrial Foundry and Engineering Limited (LIFE) and ABCO Group of Companies have long and reputable histories in the shipbuilding, ship repair and metal fabrication sectors.

 Peter Kinley, president and CEO of LIFE, says that Irving's innovative "Ships Start Here" program "speaks volumes for the legacy of world-beating shipbuilding prowess that we share as Nova Scotians.

 "Halifax's winning bid is in some small way an acknowledgment of this leading reputation of Nova Scotian shipbuilders by all of Canada," he says. "The scope of the contract is historic and will affect the development of the industry along the Atlantic coastline for generations to come."

 Mr. Kinley says that LIFE, as well as the associated group of companies involved with the Lunenburg Shipyard, is well positioned to help with the project.

 "We are the closest neighbouring port to Halifax and familiar with the kinds of tasks required," he explains. "We have been preparing our yard for this type of work for a number of years. Our quality program involves all of our employees and is recognized as one of our best assets."

 He says that LIFE is ISO 9001:2008 registered and their safety program is recognized as being exemplary in their industry.

 "While our shipyard in Lunenburg is much smaller than their facilities, we do have comprehensive capabilities and an experienced and willing crew," Mr. Kinley says. "I know we all will be happy to offer our services for the upcoming project."

 John Meisner, president of ABCO, says that winning the contract is "fantastic news" for the province.

 "Halifax Shipyards has been a customer of ABCO for many years. We have most recently manufactured components for the mid-shore patrol vessels currently under construction there and other vessels in refit," he says. "When this major contract ramps up in years to come we would plan to continue to support the shipyards with appropriate manufacturing. The contract should have a direct positive impact for us here at ABCO."



posted on 11/02/11
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