Irving Shipbuilding says two new contracts to repair commercial ships this fall in Halifax will require up to 140 employees.

But company spokeswoman Mary Keith wouldn't say how many of those jobs will be filled by recalling laid off employees or hiring new employees, adding that it will be done according to the union's collective agreement.

The company says MV Oceanex Sanderling, a container ship owned by Oceanex Inc., will arrive during the second week of October for a two-week project to perform routine maintenance and will require 90 employees.

It says 50 more employees will be needed for general repairs on the Northumberland Ferries Ltd. passenger ferry MV Holiday Island sometime in November.

The Halifax shipyard said last month it would begin laying off part of its workforce by the end of September as the site ramps up renovations to build a new fleet of navy ships.

The company didn't reveal how many employees would be laid off, but officials said a number of trades would be affected at the site, which employs about 900 workers.