BC Ferries christens LNG-powered vessel

The following is the text of a news release from BC Ferries:

(VICTORIA, British Columbia) — BC Ferries held the official naming ceremony for the first Salish-class vessel at Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. in Gdansk, Poland, last week. The ship was christened according to maritime tradition by the vessel sponsor, Margaret McDonagh, BC Ferries’ senior chief steward on the Queen of Burnaby. The new ferry is scheduled to join the BC Ferries’ fleet in late 2016, replacing the 50-year-old Queen of Burnaby on the Comox-Powell River route.

The name Salish Orca was chosen to honor the Coast Salish people and the Salish Sea where the ship will operate. Three ships are currently under construction, with the other ships, Salish Eagle and Salish Raven, set to enter operations in the Southern Gulf Islands in 2017. The ships are being built as dual fuel, capable of running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) or ultra-low sulfur diesel. Using primarily LNG to fuel the news ships will result in reduced emissions and reduced costs for BC Ferries.

“This marks a major milestone in building our new ships, as we honor maritime tradition with the official naming ceremony for the Salish Orca,” said Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries president and CEO. “As we progress with our vessel replacement program, we will continue to look for opportunities to build LNG-powered ferries, while maintaining our high standard of safety and reliability as well as reducing our environmental footprint.”

The new Salish-class ships will replace vessels that are at the end of their life cycle. BC Ferries use of LNG will result in the reduction of an estimated 9,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, the same as taking 1,900 passenger vehicles off the road annually because LNG is cleaner burning than marine diesel.

By Professional Mariner Staff