North Sydney shipyard bids on various projects

Julie Collins
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NORTH SYDNEY — Canadian Maritime Engineering shipyard in North Sydney is aggressively bidding on major refit projects and expects to hire upwards of 50 employees by this time next year.

Project manager Dean Mitchell is hoping that by this time next year there will be upwards of 50 people working at the Canadian Maritime Engineering shipyard in North Sydney.

Because the equipment was mothballed for so long, project manager Dean Mitchell had his workers do a number of repairs on a trial basis.

"It is important to iron out the bugs, and we did find a few deficinences. Now, we have them all rectified and we are ready to go," he said. "We are bidding on a number of upcoming refits with the Canadian Coast Guard and Department of National Defence, including a couple of  military minesweeping ships that are coming up for three-month-long refits."

Some of the tenders are closing within the next couple of weeks.

The shipyard does have a tugboat lined up for the end of June, and a large dragger scheduled in for July.

Mitchell said that by this time next year he is hoping to have upwards of 50 employees.

"There is stiff competition out there with some of the other shipyards, but we'll get our pencils sharpened and see if we can make this a booming place again."

The Dartmouth-based marine industrial repair company also does alongside ship repairs. It previously completed work in the Sydney and North Sydney area for Marine Atlantic and the Canadian Coast Guard.

"This shipyard used to have a travel lift for the medium and smaller boats, but it was sold by the previous owner. This is something we are looking at getting to help bring in more business."

He makes regular trips from Dathmouth, adding that the goal is have the shipyard become totally self-sufficient.

Canadian Maritime Engineering has another boatyard in Sambro, but not as big as the one they now own in North Sydney.

"We have all the resources we need to run a top-notch shipyard with numerous spinoffs that will help the local economy and lots of room for expansion," he said. "I put an ad on Kijiji to see just how many millwrights, mechanics and labourers were looking for work. Within seven days I had over 300 resumés from some very talented people. There are a lot of folks who travel out West that I'm sure would love to come back home to work."

Mitchell is delighted that the shipyard now has access from the neighbouring ballast grounds.

"Without that deeded access that has been approved by the local municipality, we would have to bring in big trucks and equipment through the main gate off the front street, and that just isn't viable."

jcollins@cbpost.com

Organizations: Canadian Coast Guard, Department of National Defence, Marine Atlantic Maritime Engineering

Geographic location: North Sydney, Sydney, Sambro

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