Canada has rejected an offer from a consortium of French and Italian shipbuilders to build 15 warships to renew its naval fleet, the group said Thursday.
Naval Group and Fincatieri proposed building the new ships based on their Fremm frigate design, which is already in use by both the French and Italian navies.
Their bid was reportedly half the Can$60 billion (US$47 billion) Ottawa budgeted for the construction of the warships.
In a joint statement, Naval Group and Fincatieri said they were disappointed that Ottawa had declined to consider their bid.
Earlier Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) said the competitive process to build the ships had been underway for several years, and the pre-qualification of 12 bidders was finalized last year.
“The submission of an unsolicited proposal at the final hour undermines the fair and competitive nature of this procurement,” PSPC said in a statement.
“Acceptance of such a proposal would break faith with the bidders who invested time and effort to participate in the competitive process, put at risk the government’s ability to properly equip the Royal Canadian Navy and would establish a harmful precedent for future competitive procurements.
“To be clear, any proposals submitted outside of the established competitive process will not be considered.”
PSPC also expressed skepticism about the “significant savings” touted in the Naval Group-Fincatieri bid, saying this is “far from evident.”