Ocean Industries has been awarded a C$102m ($76.08m) contract by Public Services and Procurement Canada to build four tugs for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN).

The new tugs are expected to replace the RCN’s exiting five civilian-crewed Glen-class large tugs and two Fire-class rescue boats.

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While two of these tugs will be delivered to Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt in British Columbia, the remaining two will be sent to CFB Halifax in Nova Scotia.

According to the procurement agency, the tugs will be used to provide towing, firefighting and other critical support services to both the Atlantic and Pacific Maritime Forces.

Canada National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said: “Providing the women and men of our Canadian Armed Forces with what they need to do the important job we ask of them is one of our government’s top priorities.

“Large tugs are an essential part of our Royal Canadian Navy fleet.”

“Large tugs are an essential part of our Royal Canadian Navy fleet, and this contract to build four large tugs here in Canada will grow our economy and create or sustain good, middle-class jobs.”

The contract work is anticipated to sustain or generate up to 140 jobs for Ocean Industries and its subcontractors.

Ocean Industries will deliver the first two tugs in 2021. The remaining two tugs under the contract are expected to be delivered in 2023.

Ocean Group president and CEO Jacques Tanguay said: “We’re very pleased to have obtained this contact to complete this project at our shipyard in Isle-aux-Coudres in the Charlevoix region.

“Today, it’s our advanced expertise as a builder and naval tug operator that is recognised by the federal government.”

The government awarded the contract under its National Shipbuilding Strategy.