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BC Ferries announces steel cut for second Intermediate Class Ferry

By BCShippingNews 13 April 2015
Another milestone in the construction of three new dual-fuel ferries...

The first steel cut on BC Ferries’ second of three new intermediate class ferries (ICF) took place at Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. in Gdansk, Poland on Friday. The steel cut is another significant milestone in the construction of three new dual-fuel ferries, capable of running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) or diesel.

These brand new vessels will replace aging ships in the fleet and are part of BC Ferries’ vessel replacement plan for standardized ships to allow for greater interoperability. Standardization will provide the company with more flexibility to best utilize ships over their 40-year lifespan. This strategy will save on training and operating costs, and will better match capacity with demand throughout the system.

Photo above (from left): BC Ferries’ Program Manager, Dan Riis and Remontowa Shipbuilding CEO, Andrzej Woijtkiewicz, celebrate the first steel cut on the second Intermediate Class Ferry.

“These new ferries will not only reduce our impact on the environment, but will also bring us one step closer to standardizing our fleet for better interoperability on all of our routes,” said Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries’ President & CEO. “Having these new ferries that are the right size for their routes will create greater efficiencies and in turn, save costs. We look forward to welcoming the new vessels into our fleet.”

The first ICF is scheduled to arrive in August 2016 and will replace the 50-year old Queen of Burnaby on the Comox – Powell River route. 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.

Specifications of the new intermediate class ferries

  • The new intermediate class vessels will measure approximately 107 metres 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 Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) or Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel Oil (ULSD).
  • LNG is a “greener” and much cleaner fuel source with very favourable environmental gains compared to diesel fuel. LNG adoption cuts carbon emissions, almost completely eliminates SOx (Sulphur Oxides), reduces NOx (Nitrogen Oxides) to a fraction of what we see from marine diesel fuel and nearly eliminates particulate matter.
  • LNG can be delivered to our ferries by truck in the same manner that we have done with diesel fuel for over 50 years.