Schottel delivers propulsion units for BC Ferries battery hybrids

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Each of the two ferries will be propelled by two high-efficiency Schottel Twin Propellers [Image: BC Ferries]

Spay, Germany, headquartered Schottel has delivered propulsion units for two 81 meter road ferries under construction at Damen Shipyards Galati, Romania, for Canada’s BC Ferries.

Each will be equipped with two high-efficiency Schottel Twin Propellers. Once operational, they will serve the Northern Gulf Islands off the coast of Vancouver.


“This class of vessels is very important for BC Ferries as it introduces a state-of-the-art, battery-electric, hybrid propulsion system,” says Paul Catsburg, Director Vessel Replacement program at BC Ferries. “This is some of the most advanced, clean marine technology in the world. 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.”

The main propulsion for the ferries consists of a pair of electric motors – each rated at 900 kW at 1,600 rpm and driving the Schottel STP 340 azimuthing thrusters.

With a propeller diameter of 1.85 m, the STP 340 delivers a cruising speed of 14 knots. The Schottel Twin Propellers are also an ideal alternative for quiet vessels or applications with limited installation space, draft or propeller clearance. By sharing the load between two propellers, the risk of cavitation is minimized and tip clearance is increased. Both of these characteristics, in turn, lead to low noise and vibration levels. This concept also improves the efficiency of the propulsion system and reduces fuel consumption compared to single propellers.

Built to Damen’s Road Ferry 8117E3 design, the vessels will be capable of carrying up to 300 passengers and crew as well as 47 vehicles. They are expected to enter operation in the spring of 2020.

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