Shelburne Shipyard Re-Opens

September 13, 2011

Shelburne is back in ship shape, busy repairing ships again, thanks to the province’s $8.8-million investment in Irving Shipbuilding’s Shelburne Ship Repair.

“Shipbuilding is in our blood in Nova Scotia. The province believes in the people of Shelburne and the future of shipbuilding in Nova Scotia,” said Premier Darrell Dexter. “This investment is Nova Scotia’s jobsHere plan in action.”

Irving Shipbuilding invested $16.6 million in the upgrades, to modernize the cradle and marine railway, as well as the wharf. The restoration, completed in August, will strengthen the economy and sustain employment for local residents in the long term. Irving’s purchase of the yard was a condition of the province’s investment.

“A viable shipyard is significant to the economy of Shelburne and its surrounding communities,” said Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Sterling Belliveau. “This means good jobs in a vibrant sector for years to come.”

Most of the upgrades were completed by Shelburne Ship Repair employees. There are currently 38 employees in the yard with repair work underway and bids for more work submitted.

“The investment to modernize and upgrade Shelburne Ship Repair is a testament to the opportunity we see in the skills and experience of the men and women who work at this facility,” said Jim Irving, CEO of Irving Shipbuilding. “There is a solid market for repair work and we have the skilled workers to do those jobs, but we needed a facility that could accommodate larger vessels. We want to thank Premier Dexter and the province of Nova Scotia for seeing that potential, too, and supporting us in this major refurbishment.”

The upgrade was completed between April 2010 and August 2011 and include removing the old cradle and marine railway and designing and building new ones to accommodate two larger vessels simultaneously. It also included dredging and reconstructing the wharf, general paving and repairs, fencing, and shop and office repairs.

“We also want to thank our employees and their families,” said Steve Durrell, president Irving Shipbuilding. “They remained loyal to Shelburne Ship Repair, completing the two-year modernization project and even travelling to work on some of our other repair and build projects.

“To the many local businesses and suppliers who helped make this renewed vision a reality, thank you for contributing to a future full of opportunity.”