VICTORIA, B.C.—BC Ferries has awarded Damen Shipyards Group of the Netherlands a contract to build two new minor class vessels that are scheduled to go into service in 2020.
The first of the new ferries will be deployed on the Powell River – Texada Island route, replacing the 59-year-old North Island Princess.
The second ship will replace the Quadra Queen II on the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula route.
These ferries, which will be capable of carrying at least 44 vehicles and up to 300 passengers and crew, will be built with a low carbon footprint in mind.
Both vessels will use hybrid diesel-electric powered propulsion and ultra-low sulphur diesel, and both will feature a fully contained waste water handling system that eliminates discharges into the sea. The ship’s propulsion systems will also be designed to reduce underwater radiated noise.
The total project budget, which includes financing and project management costs, is approximately $86.5 million, part of which will be funded by the Government of Canada.
“We ran a full competitive bidding process that was open to all B.C., national and international shipyards. We are excited that this project continues our commitment to coastal communities to replace aging ships with standardized vessels, which will reduce costs and improve operations,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ president and CEO.
Damen will build BC Ferries’ new ships at their facility in Romania.
However, the company has entered into an agreement with Point Hope Shipyards of Victoria to provide technical and warranty support for the new ferries. This ensures maintenance and repairs will be conducted by Damen in B.C.
Damen has over 9,000 employees and 33 shipyards around the world.