LNG-powered ferry heads for home in Quebec

The following is the text of a news release from Fincantieri:

(TRIESTE, Italy) (April 1) — After having successfully completed liquified natural gas (LNG) sea trials, F.A. Gauthier, the latest generation ferry built by Fincantieri in its shipyard in Castellammare di Stabia (Naples), left the yard today sailing to Matane, Quebec. The delivery to Societe des traversiers du Quebec (STQ), a Quebec crown corporation that operates in maritime passenger and vehicles transport, will take place when the ferry will arrive in Canada. 

The new vessel represents a genuine technological revolution. It is the first LNG-powered ferry ever built in Italy and the first of the kind to enter into service in North America.

A genuine concentration of technology, it adopts the most advanced solutions in terms of energy saving and low environmental impact, enabling a major reduction in emissions of CO2 (carbon dioxide), NOx (nitrogen oxides) and reducing to almost zero the SOx (sulfur oxides). This ship, which is equipped with a unique integrated diesel electric propulsion system has four dual fuel diesel power generators installed and it can run on either gas LNG or marine diesel oil (MDO). This propulsion system fully meets the ecological requirements of the ECA areas (Baltic Sea, North Sea, Caribbean and North America).

The ship, certified in the highest class designated by international registries for this type of service, is also in ice class 1A with regard to the hull and propulsion class 1AS, which are the highest levels awarded by these classification registries and which allow the vessel to operate nonstop in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, known for its adverse weather conditions. F. A. Gauthier is also able to break sea ice, thanks to its innovative bow and stern, designed and patented by Fincantieri.

The ferry’s two electric propulsion engines operate azimuth thrusters, each equipped with two counter-rotating propellers, which together with bow thrusters make the ferry exceptionally maneuverable. These characteristics, combined with a complex and extensive system of ramps and doors at both bow and stern, will allow the vessel to load and unload very quickly.

At 133 meters long and 22 meters wide, F.A. Gauthier will be able to reach a maximum service speed of 20 knots and to carry 800 passengers and 180 vehicles. The ferry will be used in the Province of Québec on the Matane–Baie-Comeau–Godbout route, which, with 1,600 sailings per year, provides transport for more than 180,000 passengers and over 85,000 vehicles, allowing them to reach the opposite side of the river in a two-hour navigation instead of a 10-hour drive.

By Professional Mariner Staff