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Construction begins on new intermediate class LNG ferry

By BCShippingNews 19 January 2015
Steel-cutting ceremony held at shipyard in Poland

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.

Photo above: Andrzej Wojtkiewicz, Chief Executive Officer, Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. watches on as Rob Clarke, Executive Vice President and CFO, BC Ferries, initiates the first steel cut.

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.

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 and 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. In addition to LNG, the vessels will be capable of using Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel Oil (ULSD) as well.

LNG is a “greener” and much cleaner fuel source with very favourable environmental gains compared to diesel fuel. LNG adoption cuts carbon emissions by about 25 per cent, SOx (Sulphur Oxides) by almost 100 per cent and NOx (Nitrogen Oxides) by 85 per cent, which translates into much cleaner exhaust emissions than diesel fuel. LNG can be delivered to ferries by truck in the same manner that has been done with diesel fuel for over 50 years.