Genoa Design International to support design and build of Polar Icebreaker for Canadian Coast Guard



Genoa Design International to support design and build of Polar Icebreaker for Canadian Coast Guard

Genoa joins Seaspan Shipyards to deliver Arctic capacity and economic benefits to Canada


May 7, 2021 – Mount Pearl, NL – Yesterday, the Government of Canada announced the decision to proceed with the construction of a Polar Icebreaker at Seaspan Shipyards under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). During the announcement, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, recognized Genoa Design International as a teaming partner on the program. Genoa will deliver 3D modeling and design services for the Polar program, and economic and social benefits to Newfoundland and Labrador.

Seaspan will draw on Genoa’s expertise in leveraging advanced technology to develop a fully integrated virtual ship, the 3D model, and then use it to deliver accurate and timely manufacturing information to support vessel construction. Over the past six years, Genoa has played a critical role in the design of modern ice-capable ships for the Canadian Coast Guard and is also currently working on the Polar Security Program in the United States, the US equivalent of the Canadian Polar Icebreaker program. With the new Canadian program, Genoa is now a key partner on arguably two of the most significant vessels in North America.

The Canadian Coast Guard urgently needs the new icebreaker before the end of the decade and Seaspan and Genoa are eager to kick-off this work as soon as contracts are in place. There is a critical need to begin this work as the current Polar Icebreaker, the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, is now in its sixth decade of service, and rapidly approaching retirement.

Since 2012, Genoa Design has worked under the NSS, supporting all new Canadian vessels built at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyard. These opportunities have generated tremendous company growth, directly contributing more than $100M to the Newfoundland and Labrador economy. In addition to Genoa Design, Seaspan’s pan-Canadian team includes marine industry leader Heddle Shipyards in Ontario, along with hundreds of small and medium Canadian companies. With a made-in-Canada approach, the Polar Icebreaker program will continue the NSS mission – to strengthen Canada’s marine industry, revitalize a workforce, and create sustainable employment for Canadians coast-to-coast.

The expertise and experience found in Newfoundland and Labrador will add tremendous value to Seaspan’s pan-Canadian team. As a gateway to the Arctic and a global leader in cold-ocean technology and marine operations, the province is home to a cluster of companies, institutions and R&D facilities that are creating some of the world’s most innovative cold ocean technologies, which are exported globally. It is home to the Canadian Coast Guard Atlantic regional headquarters, a primary base of operations servicing Canada’s Arctic, and homeport for the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent. As a Newfoundland and Labrador company, Genoa embodies this marine ingenuity and expertise, and with the Polar program, hopes to open doors to an industry that is strategically aligned with Newfoundland and Labrador’s capacity.

Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone for Canada, its marine industry, and its northern communities. Seaspan and Genoa are ready to get started.



“Genoa has proudly supported Seaspan’s delivery of three state-of-the-art ships to the Canadian Coast Guard, and we look forward to building on this momentum with Canada’s new Polar Icebreaker. We’ve experienced firsthand the exponential growth made possible by the National Shipbuilding Strategy. From coast-to-coast, we are building the impressive technological innovation and readiness capabilities needed to build a sustainable domestic supply chain and ready future export opportunities. We have the experience, the expertise, and the ingenuity. We’re ready to get started.”

  • Gina Pecore, Chief Executive Officer, Genoa Design International


“The marine industry in Canada gets stronger with every ship delivered under the NSS. Talented and innovative world experts like Genoa Design are at the forefront of using advanced technology to drive modern ship design and construction. The Polar Icebreaker program gives us the opportunity to team up once again with Genoa to get this important ship in the water serving critical Coast Guard missions and protect our Arctic waters.”

  • Mark Lamarre, Chief Executive Officer, Seaspan Shipyards


Quick Facts:

  • Genoa Design’s work on the NSS has directly contributed more than $100M to Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy. In 2020, Genoa’s operations and capital investment activities delivered approximately $30M to the provincial GDP, sustained 220 full time employees, and generated approximately $3M in provincial and municipal government revenues.


  • Canada’s Polar Icebreaker will be 150 metres long and 28 metres wide, and able to accommodate up to 100 personnel. It will be able to operate farther north, in more difficult ice conditions and for longer periods than any icebreaker Canada has.



  • Genoa and Seaspan are also partnered on the first Royal Canadian Navy Joint Support Ship (JSS), which is well advanced.



  • Newfoundland and Labrador has more than 40 labs and research facilities focused on the ocean, the Arctic, and harsh environment research and technology development.


  • Newfoundland and Labrador has a mature supply chain and service community with more than 600 companies that support industries which regularly operate in Arctic-like conditions.


Associated Links

National Shipbuilding Strategy

Genoa Design International

Genoa Design – Polar


Social Media

Twitter: @GenoaDesign

LinkedIn: Genoa Design International Ltd

Instagram: @GenoaDesign

Facebook: GenoaDesignInt

Youtube: Genoa Design


About Genoa Design

Genoa Design International has been providing production design and 3D modeling services to shipbuilding and offshore industries since 1995. In that time, they have become one of the most sought-after production design firms in the North American shipbuilding market with a commitment to quality as an ISO 9001:2015 certified organization.

With a team of nearly 250 designers, engineers, naval architects, administrators and technical support staff dispersed between their four locations in Mount Pearl, NL; Vancouver, BC; Halifax, NS and New Orleans, US, Genoa provides expertise and dedicated support throughout the shipbuilding process. Currently, Genoa is active in major government initiatives such as Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) and in commercial contracts in shipyards throughout North America.

Media Contacts

Erika Kelland