BC Ferries searching shipyards for five newbuilds, including LNG-fueled ferry

Canada’s British Columbia Ferry Services (BC Ferries)is looking for interested shipyards to build its five new vessels to replace its aging fleet assets. 

The company issued Requests for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI) on Thursday, open to local, national and international shipyards, including consortiums, with BC Ferries urging Canadian shipyards to bid on these projects.

The ferry operator is looking for four 81-meter Island Class ferries, each with a capacity of 450 passengers and 47 vehicles which will feature electric hybrid propulsion, including batteries.

The remaining vessel will be the 107-meter Salish Class LNG-fueled ferry with a capacity to transport 600 passengers and 138 vehicles.

The Island Class vessels will be delivered in pairs in 2020 and 2021 with the LNG-fueled Salish Class vessel to be delivered in 2021.

BC Ferries currently has two Island Class vessels are currently under construction and three Salish Class ships joined the fleet last year.

The five new ships will replace the Bowen Queen, Mayne Queen and Powell River Queen, which will allow for the redeployment of some assets around the fleet.

Replacing one older vessel with two new smaller vessels on the Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island route and the Campbell River – Quadra Island route means increases in capacity and frequency. The passenger carrying capacity on these runs will more than double from 400 to 900 passengers per hour, while the vehicle carrying capacity will increase by approximately 60 to 94 vehicles per hour, BC Ferries said.

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