The first steel cut on BC Ferries’ second of three new intermediate class ferries (ICF) took place at Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. in Gdansk, Poland on Friday, April 10. The steel cut is another significant milestone in the construction of three new dual-fuel ferries, capable of running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) or diesel.
These brand new vessels will replace aging ships in the fleet and are part of BC Ferries’ vessel replacement plan for standardized ships to allow for greater interoperability. Standardization will provide the company with more flexibility to best utilize ships over their 40-year lifespan. This strategy will save on training and operating costs, and will better match capacity with demand throughout the system.
“These new ferries will not only reduce our impact on the environment, but will also bring us one step closer to standardizing our fleet for better interoperability on all of our routes,” said Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries’ President & CEO. “Having these new ferries that are the right size for their routes will create greater efficiencies and in turn, save costs. We look forward to welcoming the new vessels into our fleet.”
The first ICF is scheduled to arrive in August 2016 and will replace the 50-year old Queen of Burnaby on the Comox – Powell River route. The second ICF is scheduled to arrive in October 2016 and will replace the 51-year old Queen of Nanaimo, sailing on the Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands route.
The third ICF will arrive in February 2017 and will be used to augment peak and shoulder season service on the Southern Gulf Islands route, and provide refit relief around the fleet. Under contract to the Province of British Columbia, BC Ferries is the service provider responsible for the delivery of safe, efficient and dependable ferry service along coastal British Columbia.