A rendering of the four hybrid-electric Island Class vessels that will join the BC Ferries fleet in 2022. (Courtesy of BC Ferries)

A rendering of the four hybrid-electric Island Class vessels that will join the BC Ferries fleet in 2022. (Courtesy of BC Ferries)

BC Ferries budgets $200M to add four more hybrid-electric vessels to fleet

Vessels expected to arrive in 2022

BC Ferries has plans to add four more hybrid-electric ships to its fleet.

A contract has been awarded to Netherlands based Damen Shipyards Group to build four more battery hybrid-electric Island Class vessels scheduled to go into service in 2022. In the spring of 2017, BC Ferries gave the same company contracts to build two of the hybrid-electric vessels which have successfully completed sea trials and are expected to arrive in Victoria by January 2020.

Damen Shipyards Group will also extend its agreement with Point Hope Shipyards in Victoria to provide technical and warranty support for the new vessels with their local staff.

“Our Clean Futures Plan spells out our strategy to reduce GHG emissions by replacing our legacy carbon intensive fossil fuelled vessels with ships using clean energy,” said Captain Jamie Marshall, vice president of business development and innovation with BC Ferries, in a statement. “These next four Island Class ships are a major step in our plan to progressively lower emissions across the fleet and be a leader in the energy transition to a lower carbon future.”

READ ALSO: BC Ferries invites Greta Thunberg to tour new ‘clean’ ferries

The Island Class vessel is a battery-powered ferry and when electric charging technology becomes advanced enough to make electricity available in the quantities needed, BC Ferries said it will operate the new ships as completely electric ferries using clean energy. In the meantime, the ships will use an on-board, low sulphur, diesel hybrid system.

BC Ferries said the agreement with Damen Shipyards Group is a design-build, fixed-price contract giving BC Ferries guarantees when it comes to delivery dates, performance criteria, cost certainty and quality of construction. According to BC Ferries, the total budget for the project is about $200 million.

The first two Island Class ships will be seen on the Powell River-Texada Island route and the Port McNeill-Alert Bay-Sointula Island route by mid-2020.

The third and fourth vessels will service the Campbell River-Quadra Island route and the last two will serve the Nanaimo Harbour-Gabriola Island route by 2022.

READ ALSO: Hybrid vessels part of B.C. Ferries’ plans to reduce emissions

BC Ferries said replacing one larger ship with two smaller vessels will give customers more frequent service, increased passenger capacity per hour, reduced vehicle line-ups, improved safety and reduced congestion on local roads. The vessels will have the capacity to carry at least 47 vehicles and up to 300 to 450 passengers and crew depending on configuration.

Some highlights of the vessels besides the electric power and battery-hybrid power are that the exhaust system reduces Nitrogen oxide emissions, twin propellers on the ships are designed to reduce underwater radiated noise, they’re designed to be fully accessible without elevators to reduce energy consumption, they are completely outfitted with LED lights, the heat recovery system uses waste thermal energy to heat the vessel and they offer comfortable passenger lounges and solariums.

In 2018, BC Ferries issued a request for expressions of interest to construct the four latest vessels. Eighteen responses were received from international shipyards which were short-listed to 9. No Canadian companies submitted a bid.

Damen Shipyards Group operates 36 shipbuilding and repair yards around with world with 12,000 employees. The company delivers about 175 vessels annually worldwide.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons. File photo.
MP Morrison calls Keystone XL permit cancellation ‘devastating news’

Kootenay-Columbia MP reacts to the Conservative Party’s removal of a controversial Ontario MP

Interior Health reported 91 new COVID-19 cases in the region Jan. 20, 2021 and three additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
95 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health, two deaths

Another member of Vernon’s Noric House has passed

It was a quiet week for COVID-19 cases in the West Kootenay. Illustration: B.C. Centre for Disease Control
Two new cases of COVID-19 in Nelson area

The cases were confirmed for the week of Jan. 10 to 16

The Nelson and District Community Complex ice has mostly been empty this season with the Nelson Leafs’ season on hold due to the pandemic. File photo
Six Nelson sports groups included in provincial grant

The Local Sports Relief Fund is meant to offset pandemic-related expenses

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
Midway Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Most Read