The following is the text of a news release from Chantier Davie Canada:
(LEVIS, Quebec) (Feb. 26) — Davie, the largest shipbuilder in Canada, today held a keel-laying ceremony for M/V Armand-Imbeau II. This ceremony marked the beginning of the assembly of the hull of the first of two sister ships under construction for Societe des traversiers du Quebec (STQ). The event was held at the Davie Shipyard in presence of the minister for transport and implementation of maritime strategy, Jean D'Amour, and CEO of STQ, M. Jocelyn Fortier.
The two ferries for the Tadoussac-Baie-Sainte-Catherine are designed to navigate the year on the shores of the Saguenay fjord. Measuring 92 meters long, each ship will have eight rows on two decks for the transport of 110 vehicles, including tractor-trailers. Ferries are equipped with the latest generation of engine systems, including engines that use liquefied natural gas. Instead of using a conventional propulsion system, each ship is equipped with electric thrusters. The M/V Armand-Imbeau II should be delivered in the fall of 2015; the M/V Jos-Deschênes II should follow some four months later.
Alan Bowen, CEO of Davie, said in his speech: "We are very proud of the progress made. It is the Davie ability to always deliver on time and on budget that allowed (us) to be awarded the prize for No. 1 shipyard during the ceremony for the Lloyd's List North American Maritime Awards 2015 last week in Houston. Construction of ferries is and has always been at the heart of our business. STQ ferries integrate many technologies for which Davie specializes, such as LNG propulsion systems, electric propulsion systems, as well as highly resistant to ice shells."
D'Amour added: "With the upcoming unveiling of the maritime strategy, this ceremony has special significance for my government. In the construction of two ships for the Tadoussac crossing, the STQ is continuing the process of renewal of its fleet, and by the use of a green and efficient technology that will enable users to enhance their experience on of its ferries. For its part, the Davie Shipyard offers its expertise for the benefit of the whole community, expertise which will also greatly put to use in the context of the first maritime strategy of Quebec."
Fortier said, meanwhile, that the two new vessels will improve the service offering as a whole. "The current ships through Tadoussac, commissioned in the '80s, marked a new era in particular with the activation of the ramps to the pier from the wheelhouse. In 2015, 35 years later, we innovate with the construction of two ferries with green technology and increased capacity. These are the first LNG-powered ferries built in North America. This technology and many other innovations on board will keep the company at the forefront of maritime passenger transport in North America."