The following is the text of a news release from BC Ferries:
(VICTORIA, British Columbia) — BC Ferries announced that the first steel cut for the first of three new intermediate class ferries (ICF) took place at the Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. shipyard in Gdansk, Poland, last week. The event marks the construction start of the next new vessel in BC Ferries’ fleet and was recognized at a small ceremony with representatives in attendance from BC Ferries and Remontowa.
Following an extensive competitive bid process, BC Ferries awarded the $165 million contract in July 2014 to Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. to build three new vessels. These new vessels will be the first in BC Ferries’ fleet to operate as dual-fuel, capable of using liquefied natural gas (LNG) or diesel fuel for propulsion and power generation. The first ICF is scheduled to arrive in August 2016.
“Today is an exciting day for BC Ferries as we officially commence the physical construction of the first ICF, which will replace the 50-year old Queen of Burnaby on the Comox-Powell River route,” said Mark Wilson, vice president, engineering. “We look forward to welcoming these new LNG ferries to our fleet, to help reduce both upward pressure on fares and our impact on the environment.”
The second ICF is scheduled to arrive in October 2016 and will replace the 51-year old Queen of Nanaimo, sailing on the Tsawwassen-Southern Gulf Islands route. The third ICF will arrive in February 2017 and will be used to augment peak and shoulder season service on the Southern Gulf Islands route, and provide refit relief around the fleet.
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.
• The new intermediate class vessels will measure approximately 107 meters and will have the capacity to carry 145 vehicles and up to 600 passengers and crew.
• The ships will have roll-on/roll-off vehicle decks, capable of loading/unloading at the designated terminal berths.
• The vessels will be constructed for a service life of approximately 40 years.
• The ships will have a contract service speed of 15.5 knots and accelerate time to 12 knots in 125 seconds.
• The three vessels will be designed to operate as dual-fuel capable, operating on either LNG or ultra low sulphur diesel oil (ULSD).
• LNG is a “greener” and much cleaner fuel source with very favorable environmental gains compared to diesel fuel. LNG adoption cuts carbon emissions by about 25 percent, SOx (sulphur oxides) by almost 100 percent and NOx (nitrogen oxides) by 85 percent, which translates into much cleaner exhaust emissions than diesel fuel.
• LNG can be delivered to our ferries by truck in the same manner that we have done with diesel fuel for over 50 years.