Damen to build two “hybrid-ready” ferries for Great Lakes

Written by Nick Blenkey
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L to R: Mark Gerretsen (MP for Kingston and the Islands), Leo Postma, (Sales Manager, Damen Shipyards Gorinchem), Sophie Kiwala (Member of Provincial Parliament), Mike Bossio (MP of Hastings-Lennox and Addington)

NOVEMBER 6, 2017 —The Government of Ontario and Damen Shipyards Group have signed a contract for the design, build and delivery for two ferries to operate in the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes.

The ferries will be a 68 m Damen Road Ferry 6819 and a 98 m Damen Road Ferry 9819. Although one vessel is 30 m longer than the other they will share many design features and equipment specifications. Both will also be hybrid-ready, enabling them to be fitted with batteries when required.

Both vessels are being designed in-house by Damen and will be fully customized for the local infrastructure.

The ferries will be based in Kingston and Loyalist Township, Ontario, at the northeastern end of Lake Ontario. They will be significantly larger than the existing vessels on the routes that they will serve and will create more economic benefits – helping more people, vehicles and goods travel to and from the islands.

The larger of the two new ferries will serve the nearby Wolfe Island while the smaller will serve Amherst Island, just a few kilometers to the west.

The ferries are expected to make crossings faster for the one million passengers and 500,000 vehicles which travel annually between Wolfe Island and Kingston, and the 270,000 passengers and 130,000 vehicles which travel to and from Amherst Island each year.

“We are very happy and very proud to have this opportunity to further expand Ontario’s fleet of ferries,” said Damen Sales Manager Leo Postma following the signing ceremony: . A rigorous tender process is always a test of how competitive we are and we are very pleased with the result. This new contract is a continuation of successful sales into Canada by Damen and the two new ships will take the number of Damen ferries operating in the country up to eight, along with other Damen workboats. More are also currently under construction. As a result of orders such as these, Damen Shipyards Galati is becoming an international center of excellence for the production of ferries.”

The ferries are scheduled for delivery at the end of 2019 (Amherst) and at the end of 2020 (Wolfe).

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