About the Esquimalt Graving Dock
From: Public Services and Procurement Canada
Learn about the location, services, rates, regulations, dock dimensions, performance standard and the history of the Esquimalt Graving Dock.
The Esquimalt Graving Dock is a vital infrastructure asset in Greater Victoria. It contributes an estimated $183 million to the local economy, supports an estimated 1,350 highly skilled jobs, generates approximately $18.8 million in direct annual federal, provincial and municipal taxes, and has an annual payment in lieu of taxes of $965,000.
On this page
Location of the dock
The Esquimalt Graving Dock is located in the municipality of Esquimalt, British Columbia, adjacent to the provincial capital, Victoria. The dock is close to the port cities of Vancouver, British Columbia and Seattle, Washington, and is about 1,200 kilometres (750 miles) north of San Francisco.
Esquimalt Graving Dock
825 Admirals Road
Victoria BC V9A 2P1
Locate Esquimalt Graving Dock on a map
Video: Esquimalt Graving Dock
Transcript of the Esquimalt Graving Dock video
(Start of clip)
Text on screen: Esquimalt Graving Dock
(The screen shows a transitional aerial view of the shipbuilding facility captured by a drone.)
(The next sequence shows a crane with the Canada wordmark located right beside the emptied dry dock.)
(After doing a 360-degree rotation around the crane, the camera transitions to the rear part of the dock facility and shows different types of vehicles circulating on the site.)
(The camera then shows a panorama of the Esquimalt Graving Dock from the waterside, in which we see two cranes located beside the dock as well as a BC Ferries ship located in one of the dry dock spaces. Vehicles are also circulating in the facility.)
(The camera then moves in front of the BC Ferries ship, located in the front of the dock right beside a crane, and captures some aerial footage of the ship in the dry dock space.)
(The next sequence shows the infrastructure located in the back of the facility and transitions to the front of the dock, where some footage of the dock operations was captured looking west of the facility.)
(The camera zooms in on the back of the Esquimalt Graving Dock and highlights the infrastructure located in the east end of the facility.)
(Still showing the infrastructure located in the east end of the dock, the camera transitions to the north side of the facility to give a panoramic view of the dock with the water in the background.)
(Two very quick transitions to show a crane with the water in the background and a view of the facility from the north end with the water in the background.)
(The camera then shows an aerial view of the dock and the BC Ferries ship with the water in the background.)
(The camera transitions to zoom in on the BC Ferries ship.)
(The next sequence shows an empty dry dock space in the back end of the dock, with two cranes and a residential sector in the background.)
(The camera continues its 360-degree rotation to show the dock facility looking east.)
(The camera zooms in on the BC Ferries ship.)
(The camera zooms in on the back of the dock, giving a view of the west end of the facility with the water in the background. The camera continues to rotate to show the west end of the facility with the water and a residential sector in the background.)
Text on screen: Esquimalt Graving Dock 825 Admirals Rd, Esquimalt, BC
(The camera moves to give a final panoramic shot of the entire Esquimalt Graving Dock looking from the water.)
(Public Services and Procurement Canada departmental signature)
(End of clip)
Services we offer
We are a full-service drydock supporting national and international clientele 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.
Important notice (April 1, 2017): Utilizing the services provided by the facility
Commencing April 1, 2017, all users of the Esquimalt Graving Dock (EGD) will be required to utilize all the services provided by the EGD including but not limited to the lifting services provided by the dock's multiple mobile lifting devices, compressed air, electricity, fresh water, etc.
Specifically concerning cranes, this includes all dry dockings and/or wet dockings where cargo and/or vessels are both being loaded and/or unloaded. Usually, the only time that onboard cranes or other cranes will be permitted to be used are when none of the EGD's cranes are available for use due to operational commitments. We recognize that there are certain circumstances that may make the use of EGD cranes impractical. In all cases, the use of any "other" cranes must be approved in writing by EGD Operations prior to the utilization of any "other" cranes. If any agents and/or ship repair firms fail to utilize the EGD's crane(s), without prior written consent from EGD Operations, then charges will be applied at the "standby rate" for rail cranes per hour, during the period that the "other" cranes are being utilized.
Similarly, portable air compressors are not to be used by agents and/or ship repair firms to supply compressed air to ships undergoing dry dockings and/or wet dockings. The only time that portable air compressors, not belonging to the EGD, will be permitted to be used is when compressed air is not available in the EGD's compressed air system and/or the use of the non-EGD portable air compressors has been approved in writing by EGD Operations prior to their use. If any agents and/or ship repair firms fail to utilize the EGD's compressed air and utilize outside portable air compressors, without prior written consent from EGD Operations, then charges will be applied at the "Air compressor (second)" rate, during the period that the unauthorized air compressor(s) are being utilized.
In this section
The dock has three level-luffing cranes and four mobile cranes.
Important notice (January 1, 2018): Rough-terrain rubber-tired crane
Since January 1, 2018, the Esquimalt Graving Dock has received a new 80 Ton Grove rough-terrain rubber-tired crane. This crane is now available to the tenants and users following the standard crane request process. The yearly rate for the use of this crane has been established as $312.82/hour.
Krupp 150-tonne level-luffing crane
- 150-tonne capacity at 35 metres and 100-tonne capacity at 50 metres
- Year built
- This crane has a main hook capable of lifting entire vessels on to land for refit or repair. It also has an auxiliary hook with a 15-tonne capacity, generally used to transport materials onto the vessel.
- This crane is situated on the north side of the dock. It is ideal for clients whose vessels are berthed at the North Landing Wharf.
Ebco 30-tonne level-luffing crane
- 30-tonne capacity at 35 metres
- Year built
- This quick manoeuvring crane travels the full length of the dock.
Konecrane level-luffing crane
- 30-tonne capacity with a reach of 42 metres
- Year built
- This crane travels the full length of the dock.
- This crane is situated on the south side of the dock.
The dock has four mobile cranes:
- 80-ton Grove rough-terrain rubber-tired crane
- 30-tonne Grove rough-terrain rubber-tired crane
- 25-tonne Shuttlelift Carry-deck rubber-tired mobile crane
- 12-tonne Hyster Bullmoose, ideal for dockbottom applications
We have 4-tonne and 6-tonne forklifts.
The pumphouse staff is responsible for the fill and drain of the dock basin, electrical supply, compressed air, sewage and fresh water.
Esquimalt Graving Dock electricians provide services that support dock-user activities and services related to the maintenance of our electrical infrastructure.
The yard staff provides a variety of services, which include:
- keel block setting
- assisting with the docking and undocking of vessels
- maintaining the grounds
- contaminant spill response
The risk management group:
- addresses issues concerning safety, fire, security and public relations
- ensures that the dock maintains its Statement of Compliance to the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code as issued by Transport Canada under the requirements of the Marine Transportation Security Regulations
This group, working mostly behind the scenes, helps to ensure that the facility is safe and secure for employees and clients alike.
Important notice (April 1, 2019): New rates
As of April 1, 2019, the rates increased by 3.22% as per the regulations found in Annex 1: Tariff of dock charges in the Esquimalt Graving Dock Regulations. The regulations that set the tariff were published in Canada Gazette Part II on December 23, 2009 (referenced as SOR/324). A consolidated version of the regulations is available:
Esquimalt Graving Dock Regulations (SOR/89-332)
Rates as of April 2019
Find rates for services and facilities as of April 1, 2019.
|Item||Services and Facilities||Base Charges ($) (April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020)|
|2||Draining, per section||5,748.94|
|3||Berthage, per metre, per day||6.71|
|4||Rail-mounted crane, per hour|
|(a) with light hook;||527.83|
|(b) with main hook, up to 50-tonne lift, and||762.42|
|(c) with main hook, over 50-tonne lift.||1,172.98|
|5||Mobile crane, per hour|
|(a) 9-tonne crane;||146.63|
|(b) 20-tonne crane;||187.68|
|(c) 30-tonne crane;||228.73|
|(d) Forklift; and||111.43|
|(e) Tower Crane.||187.67|
|6||Air compressor (first), per manifold hour||129.02|
|7||Air compressor (second), per manifold hour||123.17|
|8||Air compressor (wheeled), per manifold hour||64.51|
|9||Motorized vessel, per hour||213.26|
|10||Fresh water, per cubic metre||1.47|
|11||Electric power, per kilowatt hour||0.18|
|12||Tie-up or letting go||933.05|
|13||Overtime labour services, drydock employee, per hour||114.11|
|14||Security services, per vessel, per day||527.83|
|15||Dockage, 1 section, per day||3,449.37|
|16||Dockage, 2 sections, per day||11,497.89|
|17||Dockage, 3 sections, per day||16,097.03|
|18||Dockage per day: under 5,000 gross tonnage||0.00|
|19||Dockage per day: 5,000 to 34,999 gross tonnage||0.13 × the vessel's gross tonnage|
|20||Dockage per day: 35,000 to 69,999 gross tonnage||0.12 × the vessel's gross tonnage|
|21||Dockage per day: 70,000 to 89,999 gross tonnage||0.10 × the vessel's gross tonnage|
|22||Dockage per day: over 89,999 gross tonnage||0.09 × the vessel's gross tonnage|
|23||Sewer Discharge, per litre||0.01|
The Esquimalt Graving Dock is 357.5 metres (1,200 feet) long by 38.4 metres (135 feet) wide. The north landing wharf is 305 metres long (1,000 feet) with a depth of 10 metres (30 feet) of water at low tide. Plans to construct a new south jetty are in development.
The dock can be divided into one, two or three sections by placing caissons, a floating gate ballasted with concrete and sea water, at various fixed positions in the dock basin. A tunnel on the north side is used to fill and empty the dock. This tunnel connects to separate tunnels, enabling each section of the drydock to fill independently through culverts in the floor. Stabilizer pockets in the dock wall allow cruise ships to extend their stabilizers for inspection, maintenance and repair while in drydock.
The property perimeter is fenced and reinforced concrete retaining walls border the east end of the dock basin. The dock is lit by high-mast towers with high pressure sodium lighting fixtures and standard mercury vapour lighting.
Figure A: Schematic of the Esquimalt Graving Dock showing the plan and longitudinal views of the drydock
Figure B: Cross-section schematic of the drydock showing the total height and width of the drydock
|Area||Size (in metres)|
|Total length of dock||361.48|
|Clear inside length, caisson in place in stop 1||357.50|
|Clear inside length, caisson in place in stop 2||347.67|
|Clear inside length, caisson in place in stop 3||225.65|
|Clear inside length, caisson in place in stop 4||119.07|
|Clear inside length, caisson in place in stops 2 and 3||114.96|
|Clear inside length, caisson in place in stops 2 and 4||221.64|
|Width of dock at entrance||41.15|
|Depth of water over dock sill (high water ordinary spring tide)||12.19|
|Depth of water over dock sill (low water ordinary spring tide)||9.14|
|Depth of water over keel blocks (high water ordinary spring tide)||12.22|
|Depth of water over keel blocks (low water ordinary spring tide)||9.17|
|Height of keel blocks above deck floor||1.55|
|Height of floor to coping||14.93|
Source: Harbour & Shipping Journal, July 2002, Volume 85, No. 7
Important notice (June 5, 2017): Clarification about specific location requests
Please be advised that when dry or wet docking requests are submitted, every attempt will be made to accommodate a specific location request. However, if we confirm a wet or dry docking, we are only confirming that the request will be accommodated within the dry dock or water lot. We reserve the right to place the vessels at a location that does not interfere or impede other activity and maximizes the use of facility. On rare occasions, a vessel may have to be repositioned during its stay and the cost of the movement will not be borne by Esquimalt Graving Dock.
What we provide
Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is the federal department responsible for managing the dock. The department will provide, in a reasonable manner:
- administration services, to reserve services or space for vessels
- notification to users, within 48 hours of changes to service or space that may affect the safe and efficient operations of the facility
- an emergency response plan for the dock
- an approved Marine Facility Security Plan and a qualified Marine Facility Security Officer
What we report on
The department reports annually on the measurement of the following performance standards:
- reservations and confirmed bookings were provided in a reasonable manner when requested
- notifications of changes to service and/or capacity of the facility will be provided within 48 hours after first noting the change in condition of the service or capacity at least 90% of the time
- the dock's emergency response plan will be reviewed and updated, if required, every two years
- the dock will continue to have a valid Statement of Compliance to the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code as issued by Transport Canada and that all regulated security audits have been completed
- disputes related to service and/or capacity of the dock would be handled in the following manner:
- first level of referral: Director, Esquimalt Graving Dock
- second level of referral: Director, Engineering Assets
- third level of referral: Director General, Infrastructure Assets Management
- fourth level of referral: Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Services and Procurement Canada
History of the dock
The Esquimalt Graving Dock was built from 1921 to 1926 to meet the increasing demands of the shipping industry in Canada. A smaller dry dock had been built across the Esquimalt harbour in 1887, but was increasingly unable to accommodate commercial vessels, which were becoming larger each year, and a new facility was needed.
Skinner's Cove in Esquimalt Harbour was deemed an "eminently suitable" site by The Journal of ME Engineering Institute of Canada and, in early 1921, the Government of Canada began construction of the Esquimalt Graving Dock there. The dock opened for business in 1926, welcoming its first ship, The Reginolite, on September 13 of that year.
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