The Canadian Government’s Public Services and Procurement department has awarded a contract to Canadian Maritime Engineering to deliver four steel barges.

The C$1.99m ($1.52m) contract was awarded on behalf of the Canadian Armed Forces to provide equipment for use by the nation’s navy.

The four steel barges will be supplied to Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt in British Columbia within 18 months from the contract award date.

Under the contract, Canadian Maritime Engineering will also provide a complete technical data package and related training. The contract also includes an option to purchase spare parts.

Canada Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility Minister Carla Qualtrough said: “Our government is providing the women and men of the Royal Canadian Navy with the equipment they need to do their important work.

“This contract award is a prime example of the National Shipbuilding Strategy in action, providing meaningful opportunities for businesses and Canadians across Canada, and throughout British Columbia.”

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The steel barges will measure 12m-15m in length and have working decks of 75m².

Set to replace six existing wooden barges, the planned steel barges will support maintenance work on the Canadian Navy’s vessels.

Canada Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said: “Through our defence policy, ‘Strong, Secure, Engaged’, we are providing the women and men of our Canadian Armed Forces with the equipment they need to do the important work we ask of them.

“Barges are an essential part of the navy’s fleet, and this contract for four steel barges will facilitate maintenance on its vessels to ensure the operational readiness of its fleet.”

Under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), the government aims to renew the country’s federal fleet of combat and non-combat vessels.

The programme includes providing the Canadian Navy and Coast Guard with vessels. The government formed partnerships with Irving’s Halifax Shipyard and Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards for the NSS.