Following the completion of an extensive competitive bidding process, BC Ferries has awarded Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. of Gdansk, Poland contracts totaling $165 million to build three new intermediate class vessels. The new intermediate class vessels will be the first vessels in BC Ferries’ fleet to operate as dual-fuel capable using Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) or diesel fuel for propulsion and power generation.
The contracts have been approved by BC Ferries’ Board of Directors, as well as a total project budget of $252 million that includes financing and project management costs. “These are design-build, fixed-price contracts that provide BC Ferries with substantial guarantees related to delivery dates, performance criteria, cost certainty and quality construction,” said Mark Wilson, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Engineering.
“As we begin the next phase of our newbuild program, a key objective is to achieve capital and operating cost savings and efficiencies through an overall class and standardization strategy. Standardization offers greater interoperability and lower crew training and maintenance costs, and also enhances safety. This is a significant step forward in taking BC Ferries from 17 classes of ships to five classes” Wilson added.
BC Ferries says the adoption of dual-fuel LNG-powered propulsion, a key component of RFPs issued at the end of 2013, will reduce upward pressure on fares due to lower fuel costs, and reduce the environmental emissions substantially since LNG is a cleaner and greener fuel compared to current alternatives.
LNG can be delivered to the ferries by truck in the same manner that BC Ferries has done with diesel fuel for the last 50 years. LNG’s market price, about 50 per cent of the price of diesel fuel, is expected to remain stable over the medium term, with suppliers developing expanded supply outlets across Canada and North America.
Two of the new ships will replace the 49-year old Queen of Burnaby, which sails between Comox and Powell River and the 50-year old Queen of Nanaimo, which services the Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands route. The third vessel will augment peak and shoulder season service on the Southern Gulf Islands route, plus provide refit relief around the fleet. These new 105 metre vessels will accommodate 145 vehicles and 600 passengers.
The first new intermediate class vessel is scheduled to arrive in British Columbia in August 2016 and be in service in the fall of 2016, following extensive crew training and familiarization. The second is scheduled to arrive in October 2016 and the third in February 2017.Remontowa is responsible for delivering the vessels to Victoria.
Under contract to the Province of British Columbia, BC Ferries is the service provider responsible for the delivery of safe, efficient and dependable ferry service along coastal British Columbia.
(Source: BC Ferries)