Seaspan Ferries Corporation (SFC) officially welcomed two new, state-of-the-art dual-fuelled/hybrid (liquefied natural gas, diesel and battery) vessels to its fleet today during a double commissioning ceremony held at SFC’s Tilbury Terminal.
The Seaspan Swift and Seaspan Reliant, the first eco-ferries of their kind in North America, were formally christened by sponsors Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia, and Anisa White, wife of Doug White III, Councillor and Chief Negotiator for Snuneymuxw First Nation.
“April 9, 2017 will be remembered as a historic milestone for Seaspan Ferries and we are extremely fortunate to have two sponsors who represent our connection to both the past and future to help bring our new vessels to life,” said Steve Roth, President – SFC. “First Nations communities have a deep and sacred connection to the sea, and together, we share the responsibilities and commitment to keeping our pristine waters safe and clean. At the same time, we take great pride in the role we play as an economic driver for British Columbia by investing in new technology and equipment that keeps goods moving and creates both direct and indirect jobs.”
“In job creation, reliability, and marine transportation, Seaspan has always been a leader – and with the addition of two new eco-ferries, Seaspan is continuing to lead,” said Premier Christy Clark. “The Seaspan Swift and Seaspan Reliant are the first of the next generation of vessels fuelled by B.C.’s clean-burning LNG.”
Following their construction at Sedef Shipyard in Istanbul, Turkey, the Seaspan Swift arrived in December 2016 and entered operation in January 2017, while the Seaspan Reliant arrived in late February and is scheduled to begin service later this month. The 148.9 metre long ferries which can accommodate up to 59, 53’ trailers mark the first new vessels added to SFC’s fleet since 2002.
“The introduction of two new technologically advanced, LNG-fuelled vessels represents the beginning of the realization of a bold and ambitious vision to re-construct our marine terminals and modernize the vessels that service them,” said Steve Roth. “The Seaspan Swift and Seaspan Reliant reinforce an unwavering commitment to our drop-trailer customers and serve as a testament to how we live out our Core Value of Care for the Environment by ensuring the conservation of Canadian oceans and waterways, reducing greenhouse gas emissions dramatically, while delivering the highest level of efficiency, performance and reliability.”
SFC currently operates a fleet of seven ferries out of five terminals in British Columbia, and supplies more than 50 per cent of all cargo to Vancouver Island.