Photo: 4th Salish-Class ferry: Image by BC Ferries

Remontowa splashes BC Ferries’ 4th LNG-fuelled Salish Class ferry

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Polish shipbuilder Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. has launched the fourth liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fuelled Salish Class vessel owned by the Canadian ferry operator BC Ferries.

The ship entered the water over the weekend, with work continuing there until scheduled sea trials in late 2021.

Following successful sea trials, the vessel will make the 10,440 nautical mile journey from Gdansk, Poland to British Columbia in early 2022 for final preparations.

The ferry is scheduled to go into service in the Southern Gulf Islands in 2022, and is identical to the three Salish Class vessels built by Remontowa for BC Ferries in 2016-2017.

Key particulars

  • LNG as the primary fuel that reduces GHG emissions by 15 to 25 per cent, sulphur oxides by over 85 per cent, nitrogen oxides by over 50 per cent and nearly eliminates particulate matter
  • Electric propulsion that eliminates gear boxes and shaft
  • Twin propellers that reduce cavitation
  • Hull designed for very small wake
  • Advanced hull coating that reduces flow disturbance and environmental leaching
  • Engine management system that reduces machinery running
  • Resilient engine mount that isolates structure borne noise

BC Ferries issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI) for the construction of the vessel to shipyards in Canada and around the world in July 2018. The company selected Remontowa in January 2020.

The agreement with Remontowa is a design-build, fixed-priced contract with a total project budget of $92.3 million.

The 107-metre Salish Class vessel will have the capacity to carry at least 138 vehicles and up to 600 passengers and crew, and is built as dual-fuel, capable of running on LNG or ultra-low sulphur diesel.

Using primarily LNG to fuel the new ship will result in reduced emissions and reduced costs for BC Ferries, the company said.

When the ship enters service, it will allow for the retirement of the Mayne Queen, a diesel-fuelled vessel.

BC Ferries has been investing significant efforts to replace diesel fuels with cleaner energy options by adopting batteries and LNG as fuel on board its newbuild vessels.

Earlier this month, the company saw its fourth electric-hybrid ferry hit the water at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania.

The new ship is scheduled to go on sea trials in April. Following successful sea trials, the vessel will make its way to Point Hope Maritime in Victoria in fall 2021 for final preparations.

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The yet-to-be named ship is the fourth in a series of six Island Class vessels joining the BC Ferries fleet, and the second assigned to the Campbell River – Quadra Island (Quathiaski Cove) route.