Canada’s BC Ferries has awarded Damen Shipyards Group contracts to build four more battery electric-hybrid Island Class vessels, scheduled to go into service in 2022.
The agreement with Damen is a design-build, fixed-priced contract that BC Ferries says provides it 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$200 million (about US$151 million).
NO CANADIAN SHIPYARD BIDS
In the lead up to the contract award, BC Ferries 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 other local and national industry events. Canadian shipyards were invited to participate in the competitive bidding process.
BC Ferries received responses from 18 international shipyards and short-listed nine shipyards to proceed to the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage. No Canadian companies submitted a bid.
In the spring of 2017, BC Ferries awarded Damen contracts to build two “first in class” of these battery electric-hybrid vessels. Those vessels have successfully completed sea trials and are being transported aboard a semi-submersible heavy-lift vessel from Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania. They are due to arrive in Canada end December and will arrive in Victoria, B.C., by January 2020.
With the extension of the partnership between BC Ferries and Damen now confirmed, Damen will extend its agreement with Point Hope Shipyards of Victoria, B.C. to provide technical and warranty support for the new vessels with its local staff.
“Our Clean Futures Plan spells out our strategy to reduce GHG emissions by replacing our legacy carbon intensive fossil fueled vessels with ships using clean energy,” said Captain Jamie Marshall, BC Ferries’ Vice President, Business Development & Innovation. “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.”
ALL-ELECTRIC IN FUTURE
The Island Class is a battery-powered ferry. When electric charging technology matures to make electricity available in the quantities required, BC Ferries will operate these new ships as all-electric ferries, using clean energy. In the interim, these ships will use a low-sulfur diesel hybrid system.
The first two Island Class vessels will be deployed on the Powell River – Texada Island route and the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula Island route by mid-2020.
The third and fourth new vessels will service the Campbell River – Quadra Island route and the fifth and sixth new ships will serve the Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island route by 2022. By replacing one larger ship with two smaller vessels on each of these routes, customers will receive more frequent service, increased passenger capacity per hour, reduced vehicle line-ups, improved safety and reduced congestion on local roads. It also eliminates the need to consume more greenspace to increase the size of terminal holding compounds by moving more traffic through the same amount of space.
The Island Class vessels will have the capacity to carry at least 47 vehicles and up to 300 – 450 passengers and crew depending on configuration. They will allow for fleet redeployments and retirements of existing diesel fueled vessels. around a year ago, s.
“The fact that Damen had designed the original two Island Class ferries for BC Ferries, positioned us well to start building very quickly,” says Damen sales manager Leo Postma. “Also, having very nearly completed the construction of the first order at the time of the award of contract, we had personnel ready and experienced in the building of this type of ferry.”
Postma notes that BC Ferries is standardizing its fleet, with a strong focus on interoperability and commonality of equipment and was keen to ensure commonality with the initial two vessels (the first of series of the Island Class). As well its experience with the initial vessel order, Damen specializes in the standardization of ships.