The first steel has been cut on the second of three new dual-fuel ships being built for BC Ferries at Remontowa Shipbuilding in Gdansk, Poland.
The new trio form part of the Canadian passenger ship operator's fleet renewal plan. The new tonnage is considerably more 'standardised' than before to allow for greater operational flexibility over the ships' expected 40-year lifespan. The strategy will also save on training and on-going maintenance costs.
The first delivery is scheduled in August 2016 and will replace the 50-year-old Queen of Burnaby on the Comox-Powell River route. The second is due that October and will replace the 51-year-old Queen of Nanaimo, sailing on the Tsawwasen - Southern Gulf Islands route. The third and finals slated to 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.
The new intermediate class vessels will measure 107m in length and have capacity to carry 145 vehicles and up to 600 passengers and crew, with a contract service speed of 15.5 knots and acceleration from 0 to 12 knots in 125 seconds. They will be dual fuel ships, operating on either LNG or ultra-low sulphur diesel oil (ULSD).
Meanwhile south of the 49th parallel, the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) of San Francisco, CA has awarded Kvichak Marine Industries a contract to supply two all-aluminium 400 passenger-only ferries.
The new duo, which will replace two of WETA's 12-vessel fleet that are approaching the end of their expected life, will be designed by Incat Crowther of Australia. The 41m-long catamarans will feature MTU 12V4000 M64+ EPA Tier III engines rated 1950 BHP @ 1830 RPM coupled with ZF7600 reduction gears as the propulsion system. An exhaust after treatment system will also be included. The vessels will be the 700th and 701st vessels built by Kvichak and are anticipated to be in service the summer of 2017.