Damen Galati to build two hybrids for BC Ferries

Hybrid diesel electric may get later conversion to all electric Hybrid diesel electric may get later conversion to all electric

JUNE 7, 2017  — BC Ferries has awarded Damen Shipyards Group a contract to build what it calls "two new minor class vessels" that are scheduled to go into service in 2020.

Damen, which will build the vessels at its Galati, Romania. shipyard has entered into an agreement with Point Hope Shipyards of Victoria, BC. to provide technical and warranty support for the new vessels, ensuring repair and maintenance activities will be performed in British Columbia.

The first of the new vessels will be deployed on the Powell River – Texada Island route, replacing the 59-year old North Island Princess, which will be retired from the BC Ferries fleet. The second vessel will replace the Quadra Queen II on the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula route. The Quadra Queen II will become a relief vessel, allowing for fleet redeployments and the retirement of the 53-year old Howe Sound Queen.

The agreement is a design-build, fixed-priced contract that provides BC Ferries with substantial guarantees related to delivery dates, performance criteria, cost certainty and quality construction. The total project budget, which includes financing and project management costs, is approximately C$86.5 million CAD.

The project is partially funded by the Government of Canada.

The two minor class vessels will have the capacity to carry at least 44 vehicles and up to 300 passengers and crew. They will have a number of key features that support BC Ferries’ goal to be efficient and environmentally responsible throughout its system.

Highlights include:

A hybrid diesel electric - battery power generation and propulsion system that uses on board electric battery power for operation of the vessel. Electric propulsion is quiet, smooth and efficient compared to traditional diesel propulsion. The design allows for future expansion of the on board battery capacity to permit full electric operation when the shore-side charging capacities are available.

Engines that operate on ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, which has lower environmental impact than regular marine diesel oil. The Tier III compliant engines also have low NOx and particulate emissions.

Hull, propeller and thruster design that minimizes underwater radiated noise.

Arrangements to minimize shipboard vibration and airborne noise to improve conditions for communities, passengers and crew.

A fully contained waste water handling system which eliminates discharges to the sea.

BC Ferries says that it issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI) for the design and construction of the vessels to leading shipyards in Canada and around the world in March 2016.

It says in the lead up to this process, it raised awareness of the upcoming tender to Canadian shipyards through such forums as the Canadian Ferry Association, the Association of British Columbia Marine Industries and local and national industry events.

Canadian shipyards were invited to participate in the competitive bidding process.

BC Ferries received responses from 28 national and international shipyards and short-listed 12 shipyards to proceed to the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage, including five Canadian shipyards.

BC Ferries received four compliant RFP responses, however, none of the shortlisted Canadian shipbuilders submitted a bid.

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