The first steel cut for BC Ferries’ third new intermediate class ferry (ICF) took place on July 1st at Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. in Gdansk, Poland, bringing all three new ships closer to their delivery to B.C. waters.
The three ferries will be capable of running on dual-fuel on either liquefied natural gas (LNG) or ultra-low sulphur diesel. The first ICF is scheduled to arrive in August 2016, the second in October 2016 and the third in February 2017.
“The new ships will replace vessels that are at the end of their life cycle, and will be more fuel-efficient and cleaner burning, reducing our impact on the environment,” said Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries’ President & CEO. “We are eagerly anticipating the arrival of the new vessels and the construction start of the third ICF is an important milestone in bringing these ships one step closer to sailing in our fleet.”
BC Ferries’ use of LNG is expected to result in the reduction of an estimated 9,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, the same as taking 1,900 passenger vehicles off the road annually.
The new ships will run on LNG as much as possible, almost completely eliminating SOx (Sulphur Oxides), reducing NOx (Nitrogen Oxides) to a fraction of what what is seen from diesel fuel and nearly eliminating particulate matter. The first ICF will replace the 50-year old Queen of Burnaby on the Comox – Powell River route.
The second ICF will replace the 51-year old Queen of Nanaimo, sailing on the Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands route. The third ICF will be used to augment peak and shoulder season service on the Southern Gulf Islands route, and provide refit relief around the fleet.