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August 8, 2002


BC Ferries seeks international tenders for newbuild
Canada's BC Ferries is issuing a Request for Expressions of Interest—both locally and internationally—for the construction of a new, intermediate-size ferry.

The new vessel will replace the Queen of Capilano on the Horseshoe Bay-Bowen Island route, which has a ferry crossing of approximately 20 minutes.

The response to the Request for Expression of Interest will be evaluated to establish a shortlist of qualified ship builders. In September, BC Ferries will seek approval from its Board of Directors to tender a contract for the construction of the new vessel, which will carry approximately 125 vehicles.

The Horseshoe Bay-Bowen Island route requires a vessel that is highly maneuverable and is able to facilitate quick loading and unloading of vehicles. The Queen of Capilano is no longer able to handle the peak traffic demand on this route.

The Earls Cove-Saltery Bay route is served by the Queen of Chilliwack during the off-season and the Queen of Tsawwassen during the summer months. The Queen of Capilano has been assessed as well suited as a replacement vessel for the Tsawwassen, which is 42 years old and very expensive to maintain.

Redeployment of the Queen of Capilano will permit the corporation to retire the Queen of Tsawwassen. The 42-year-old Queen of Tsawwassen is sister ship to the Queen of Sidney, which was retired and put up for sale in 2001.

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