Davie bids $752m for Canadian ships

Shipyard tries to undercut rival Seaspan on government icebreaker and multipurpose deal.

Canadian shipbuilder Davie has sent an unsolicited bid to build vessels already awarded to rival Seaspan by the country’s government.

It says it can construct or convert ships including icebreakers and multipurposes more cheaply, even at a reported CAD 1bn ($752m), Canadian Press reported.

Civilian ships were awarded to Seaspan in 2013 as part of Canada’s national shipbuilding strategy.

Davie has partly revived its own failed pitch from that year.

It involves converting three different types of ships that Davie is already building or can be obtained in the market "at highly affordable prices," the report said.

Some of these are offshore vessels unwanted in the oil and gas slump.

Davie is pledging to save the government 40% of the Seaspan price.

Jonathan Whitworth, CEO of Seaspan, said the new bid is an attempt to undermine the shipbuilding programme.

"The worst thing we could do is to stop, alter or otherwise change the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy before it's actually really gotten underway," he added.