Canada is severely in need of a maritime vessel that can effectively deliver emergency personnel and relief goods to disaster areas overseas, and Irving Shipping says it has the ship that will fit the bill.
Irving’s bill is just under $300 million for a five-year lease on such a vessel and its crew which will help the Canadian military in humanitarian relief efforts around the world.
Canada wants to expand the military’s capability responding to and contributing to relief efforts in disaster areas overseas but it is “sorely lacking” a capable vessel that can rapidly deliver and deploy the needed personnel, equipment and materials to the affected areas, according to Kevin McCoy, president of Irving.
The government has not put tendered any contract for such a vessel yet, but McCoy said his company is replying to the government’s call to the public for suggestions to the ongoing Canadian defence policy review.
“This is not an unsolicited proposal,” McCoy stressed during a press briefing at the CANSEC 2016 conference in Ottawa on Tuesday. “…this is in the context of the government’s call for input for the defence policy review…they are asking what type of mission the military should respond to, what type of equipment they should get.”
Irving calls the vessel a Maritime Support Ship. It is a 193-metre long vessel with a displacement of 21,000 tonnes. The ship is capable of hauling 14,000 tonnes of cargo, and can be tailored to carry, container vans, helicopters, landing craft, construction equipment, as well as supplies such as food, medicines and fresh water.
McCoy said Irving is sourcing the vessel from a partner but is not in a position to reveal who that partner is. He described the vessel as a “modern, five-year-old” converted in Halifax. It is powered by a twin screw, twin engine with roll-on/roll-off capability.
“The vessel can be loaded and sent off to any disaster area in the world within 48 hours,” said McCoy.
Irving is proposing that the government lease the vessel for five years for under $300 million. That price will include the ship’s crew of 37, as well as maintenance for the vessel.
McCoy thinks, Canada could use three MSSs.
The government has not yet responded to the proposal.