The Canadian government has decided to enter into contract negotiations with shipbuilder Chantier Davie of Lévis for the construction of two new roll-on/roll (RoPax) ferry vessels for Transport Canada (TC).
As informed, the newbuilds will replace two older TC’s vessels, MV Madeleine and MV Holiday Island, which are nearing the end of their life cycle.
Madeleine is currently used for service between Îles‑de-la-Madeleine, Quebec, and Souris, Prince Edward Island (PEI), while Holiday Island is one of two vessels used to provide service between Wood Islands, PEI, and Caribou, Nova Scotia.
Specifically, Madeleine will be replaced by an ice-strengthened vessel and Holiday Island with a largely identical non-ice-class vessel. Equipped with hybrid propulsion systems, both of them will feature a length of around 130 meters and a beam of 24 meters.
With a maximum speed of 21 knots, they will have a passenger capacity of 1,500 people and a vehicle capacity of 280 automobile equivalent units (AEUs). Gross tonnage of the newbuilds will be in the 5,000-7,500 ton range.
The Government of Canada issued an Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN) last month, signaling its intention to enter into a contract with Chantier Davie for the construction of the ferries.
The contract value and construction timelines will be determined once negotiations with the shipyard are completed, the government said in a statement.
The government revealed it will also begin discussions with the current operators of the ferries to consult them on the technical features required in the construction.