August 5, 2004

BC Ferries denies ferry order already placed in Poland

BC Ferries' President & CEO David L. Hahn has responded to what a statement refers to as "misinformation issued by the BC Shipyard General Workers' Federation regarding the tendering process for a new intermediate vessel."

Hahn said that a Federation statement that BC Ferries had made a decision to contract out construction of a new intermediate ferry to a yard in Poland was "totally incorrect.'

"The tendering process continues to be underway with two local B.C. shipyards competing for the bid along with one international yard," Hahn said. "No decisions have been made at this point."

BC Ferries says it has a comprehensive tendering process underway to replace the 44 year old Queen of Tsawwassen with a new 125-car intermediate size ferry. The tendering process is the same as the process being conducted for the new Super C class vessels.

A Request for Prequalification (RFPQ) process has been completed and three shipyards have been shortlisted; two Canadian yards (both B.C.) and one international yard (Poland). This process is part of the first phase of a program to build 22 new vessels over the next 15 years.

"New vessels for the company will be awarded as part of the company's best-business practice mandate," said Hahn. "Our obligation continues to be to our customers and ensuring that fares remain reasonable, and that new vessel contracts are for the best value possible."

BC Ferries says that its plan for a new, intermediate vessel still requires review by independent Ferry Commissioner Martin Crilly and approval by the Board of Directors. It is expected that a contract for a new, intermediate size vessel will be awarded early in 2005.

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