Damen’s Galati, Romania, shipyard has launched two 81 m road ferries for Canada’s BC Ferries. They are currently being fitted out and are set to enter service next year. Once operational they will be capable of carrying up to 300 passengers and crew, and 47 vehicles.
The ferries have been built to Damen’s Road Ferry 8117E3 design and the order was secured following an extensive, multi-phased, international tender process.
In his speech at the launch, which was delivered partly in Romanian, Paul Catsburg, director of the vessel replacement program at BC Ferries, said, “This class of vessels is very important for BC Ferries as it represents our newest vessel type, introducing a state-of-the-art, diesel-electric, hybrid propulsion system. The ships’ hybrid design is important for two main reasons; firstly to improve environmental stewardship and secondly to reduce operating costs by evolving to full electric propulsion.”