General Electric’s power conversion subsidiary was named a strategic partner in Canada’s icebreaker vessel development programs.
By Michael McGrady, Maritime Direct Americas Correspondent
GE Power Conversion, a subsidiary of General Electric in the United States, announced that the company is now a ‘strategic partner’ with Quebec-based Davie Shipbuilding’s icebreaker program.
Davie, one of Canada’s largest civil and maritime defense shipbuilders, maintains a direct contract with the Canadian Coast Guard to deliver ice-breaking vessels and specialty cutters for high-arctic operations.
The addition of GE to the program places Davie in a systematic advantage to further monopolize this segment of Canada’s shipbuilding industry and deliver useful vessels to Canadian authorities.
According to the companies, GE will contribute state-of-the-art integrated electrical propulsion and power systems into the final ship builds for vessels designed for polar operations. The National Icebreaker Centre manages these projects through a framework that makes Davie the prime partner for overseeing a recognized center of research excellence for improving Canada’s polar technologies and Arctic expertise.
“We welcome GE to our Polar program. Their leading-edge propulsion system combined with decades of icebreaker experience and electric and power system capabilities are unsurpassed,” said James Davies, president, and chief executive of Davie Shipbuilding, in a press statement. “Their inclusion also greatly strengthens Canada’s National Icebreaker Centre. Together, we can ensure the Polar is stimulating the post-pandemic economy and protecting Canada’s Arctic interests into the far future.”
Philippe Piron, GE Power Conversion CEO, offered similar optimistic statements that commit all of his subsidiary’s resources.
“GE and Davie skills are complementary. GE [is] prepared to deliver the robust systems and equipment that are essential for the powerful Polar Class ships that Davie will build for Canada,” Piron said. “We are excited to have the opportunity to strengthen Canada’s National Icebreaker Centre under Davie’s leadership, and we look forward to engaging broadly with Canada’s marine industry.”
The Polar program has previously enlisted Vard Marine and Serco Canada Marine as partners, like GE.