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On Watch August 25, 2021

On Watch August 25, 2021

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  August 25, 2021


Words from the CEO


It’s hard to believe that it’s late August already! And although we are having a much more “open” summer than last year, we are not out of the woods in terms of the global COVID-19 pandemic and our businesses continue to be affected. We hope everyone is safe at work and at home. With the recent dropping of the writ, our resource section with Government of Canada procurement opportunities is meagre, and will likely remain so until after the federal election.

We have watched the trend towards including more “green” requirements in procurements and it is increasing. This is great news for our sector, as so much research and development is focussed on lowering the impact of the marine sector on the environment, while also improving efficiency. Our Member Spotlight featuring Aspin, Kemp & Associates is a timely one. Marketing and Communications Manager Tobia Isa discusses the recent trend in Canada towards adopting more innovative and environmentally friendly propulsion systems. It is so encouraging to hear about the exciting developments in our member companies, and we are optimistic for the positive impact they are making and will continue to make on the marine sector, both here in Canada, and as exports abroad. If you would like to join our growing number of members and enjoy our attractive member benefits, including original editorial content like these Member Spotlights, please contact and we would be thrilled to get you on board.

Colin Cooke

CEO and President




Member Spotlight: Aspin Kemp & Associates
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Aspin Kemp & Associates (AKA), a Prince Edward Island-based systems integrator and engineering company, is a pioneer in marine hybrid propulsion systems and green energy. AKA delivers innovative solutions to island and microgrid power systems for marine, offshore oil and gas, and land-based industries. Tobia Isa, Marketing and Communications Manager, elucidates AKA’s three core principles:

  • First, environmental impacts are reduced by using energy storage, electric power, or alternative fuels in power and propulsion systems;
  • Second, reliability is increased, as demonstrated by AKA’s exceptional track record in avoiding failures, through AKA’s many years of experience in the marine space validating data through numerous projects, and
  • Three, operational costs are reduced as fuel and maintenance costs are lower. In essence, AKA’s power and propulsion systems are “smart,” in that they choose the most optimal mode between diesel engines, electric motors, and battery operation.

Exploring hybrid propulsion is compelling for the marine sector, even though the sector has historically been slow to adopt new propulsion systems. Luckily, this has been changing over the past few years, as the oil and gas sector and even navies are moving into the hybrid space. AKA has been ahead of the curve and was among the first companies to adopt hybrid propulsion systems. Other firsts include developing the world’s first hybrid drilling rig, and the world’s first hybrid tugboat. As Tobia mentions, today there are many reasons to consider hybrid power and propulsion systems. An example is the preferential treatment given by busy ports to vessels that can switch to electric mode. Electric propulsion systems minimise environmental impact on the ecosystems of ports, including noise pollution.

The future is very bright for AKA, according to Tobia, as the company is looking at more alternative fuels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), ammonia, and hydrogen. AKA’s engineering approach is nimble and flexible, and the team conducts research to build prototypes for many one-off applications. This approach allows for a customized solution for each vessel. AKA is a small-to-medium sized Canadian enterprise, and is working across the international marine market. In addition to the marine sector, the company is also growing its land-based power systems footprint for its innovative solutions.

Tobia has been with AKA for six years now, starting first as a recent graduate from Germany. She appreciates the diverse workplace that embraces different age groups, experiences, and perspectives, which are particularly valuable for brainstorming new ideas. Harnessing the energy and motivation in young people with the skills and abilities of experienced professionals allows team members like Tobia to thrive and, as she puts it, “I like the fact that every day is different.”

AKA has locations in Owen Sound, USA, Germany, Singapore, and China, but the headquarters, manufacturing facility, engineering and support is based in Prince Edward Island. Tobia emphasizes that a key factor for AKA’s setup in PEI was to bring engineering jobs to PEI. Since then, a PEI-based marine cluster has developed. AKA supports many community initiatives and is committed to effect positive change. Tobia also emphasizes that connecting and exchanging ideas with other innovative companies in Canada is very important to AKA, and one of the key reasons why AKA is a member of CMISA.




Government of Canda’s Trade Commissioner Service Primers on Three Areas of Canada’s Free Trade Agreements

Dear members,

The Government of Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) has recently shared with us new primers on three of Canada’s free trade agreements (FTAs) called “Grow your Business in the European Union, Asia Pacific, and North America”.

The primers provide practical information on how Canadian businesses can benefit from the three comprehensive agreements. They also point to the TCS’s tools, services and resources designed to help you take advantage of the favourable business environment that these agreements generate.

You can view and download the PDF versions of the primers through the links below:

1. Grow your Business in the European Union
Benefit from the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
2. Grow your Business in the Asia-Pacific
Benefit from the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)
3. Grow your Business in North America
Benefit from the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)

About Free Trade Agreements
Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) enable Canadian companies to access millions of new consumers when they expand into markets where Canada has an FTA. Popular agreements like the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA, also known as the New NAFTA) help reduce barriers to trade and help Canadian companies compete on equal footing with local companies.

Stay Connected with the TCS
The Trade Commissioner Service helps Canadian businesses grow by connecting them with its funding and support programs, international opportunities, and its network of trade commissioners in more than 160 cities worldwide. Learn more at, contact our network of Trade Commissioners and sign up for MyTCS.

We hope that you will find the information and resources within the FTA primers useful for your company’s growth.

Dominis Engineering Makes Waves

Building a large ship requires a significant amount of engineering and manufacturing time. 

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SCHOTTEL Canada Partners with Seaspan Vancouver Drydock and McRae Electric to Enhance Service Offering

SCHOTTEL Inc (USA) and SCHOTTEL Canada Inc have entered into a cooperative agreement with two Canadian West Coast marine industry leaders to support the increasing local fleet of SCHOTTEL-propelled vessels. 

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STV Pathfinder Returns to Sail Training in Hamilton Harbour Thanks to Breakwater Investments

HAMILTON, ON – Brigs Youth Sail Training (Brigs) is pleased to announce, through the generous support of Blair McKeil of Breakwater Investments, the tall ship STV Pathfinder will return to sail training in 2022.

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JOHN DeMONT: Nova Scotian memories of Mutiny on the Bounty

Sometimes big events seem momentous the second they occur; other times life unfolds so ordinarily that, only afterwards, do you realize, wow, that was something that mattered.

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Royal Canadian Navy HMCS Harry DeWolf Departs On Her Maiden Operational Deployment

The ship will begin the four-month deployment with participation in Operation Nanook in the Arctic region, and will carry on by sailing through the Northwest Passage, something that hasn’t been done by a Canadian warship in more than 60 years. 

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MSC Seashore Delivered with Thordon COMPAC

The largest cruise ship to be built in Italy has been delivered with a COMPAC seawater lubricated propeller shaft system from Canada’s Thordon Bearings.

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Options for Ship Propulsion Using Grid Scale Batteries

The search for carbon free ship propulsion includes adapting grid-scale batteries for maritime applications.

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Construction of largest naval ship in Canada nearing completion

The largest naval vessel to be constructed for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) continues to take shape at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyard.

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Maersk Makes $1.4 Billion Bet On Methanol Ships

By Jack Wittels (Bloomberg) The world’s largest container-shipping line is making a $1.4 billion investment in a greener fleet.  A.P. Moller – Maersk A/S (AMKBY) has ordered eight new vessels, each costing $175 million, that can be propelled by cleanly made methanol instead of an oil-based fuel. 

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Perks for Members

CMISA promotes and supports our industry with activities to:

  • Build and maintain ships for Canada and for the private sector (Build & Maintain)
  • Support business opportunities for our marine industry members (Support)
  • Sustain a network to voice our concerns and promote our solutions (Sustain)


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Canadian Marine Industries and Shipbuilding Association

301-200 Catherine St. Ottawa ON K2P 2K9 Canada
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