Quebec orders dual fuel ferry at Fincantieri

Written by Nick Blenkey

alphonse-desjardinsJULY 30, 2012—Fincantieri has been awarded a contract to build a latest generation ferry by Canada’s Société des traversiers du Québec (STQ). The 130 m ferry will have a capacity of 800 passengers and 180 cars and will have a dual fuel diesel electric propulsion system able to operate on marine diesel oil or LNG. It will be the first vessel in the STQ fleet not to be built in a Quebec shipyard.

The contract, awarded following a public tender in which major competitors took part, is worth C$148 million, and has been signed by Georges Farrah, STQ Chairman and CEO, and Gabriele Cocco, Executive Senior Vice President Fincantieri Merchant Vessels. The contract has not needed the support of Italian export credit agencies and has benefited from funding allocated to a program of major projects being financed by the Government of Quebec, which controls STQ.

In January 2010, the Quebec Ministry of Transport awarded a contract for naval architecture and engineering services to Deltamarin/Navtec, a Finnish-Canadian consortium, which drew up preliminary plans in preparation for the project’s tender. The public tender for the ship’s final design and construction took place between January and June 2012.

Over the coming months Fincantieri will work on the detailed design of the new ship, which is scheduled for delivery in Canada in late 2014.

Fincantieri says “the ferry will be a concentration of technology and innovation, adopting the most advanced solutions in terms of energy saving and low environmental impact.”

It will have a diesel electric propulsion system and the four diesel power generators will be dual fuel and can run on either gas (Liquid Natural Gas – LNG) or marine diesel oil.

Two electric propulsion engines will operate azimuth thrusters, each equipped with two counter-rotating propellers, which together with transverse propellers, will give the ferry exceptional maneuverability.

These characteristics, combined with a complex and extensive system of ramps and doors at both bow and aft, will allow the vessel to load and unload very quickly.

The ship will be certified in the highest class designated by international classification societies for this type of service and will also be built to Ice class 1 A and propulsion class 1 AS.

The ferry will be used for multiple services on the Matane-Baie-Comeau-Godbout route, which employs 115 people and, with 1,600 sailings a year, allows more than 200,000 passengers and over 116,000 vehicles to travel from shore to shore. It provides year-round links between Gaspé and North Shore.

Georges Farrah, STQ Chairman and CEO, said: “I am very happy with the outcome of the very demanding design and construction process for this new ship due to start service in Matane in three years time. At 130 meters long and with a capacity for 800 passengers and 180 cars, the new ferry will be much larger and better equipped than the Camille-Marcoux that it will replace. Its larger hold capacity will be suitable for all types of vehicles. The crossing will be a more pleasant experience for passengers.”

Gabriele Cocco, Executive Senior Vice President Fincantieri Merchant Vessels, commented: “Fincantieri is particularly proud of this success which confirms it at the technical forefront and as leader in the high-tech ferry sector. From today, as well as the Mediterranean, the Baltic and North Sea, we shall also be present in North America with an extremely innovative product, the first to be used in a region with particular sensitivity to environmental conservation, and which will ensure considerable energy savings and a minimum level of pollution.”

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