Following an RFP last December, BC Ferries awarded Gdansk-based shipyard Remontowa Shipbuilding a $165 million contract earlier this month to build three “Intermediate-class” dual fuel-powered ferries. Lloyd’s Register (LR) announced today they have won the contract to class these ferries.
These 105-meter ships will will accommodate 145 vehicles, 600 passengers and be the first vessels in BC Ferries’ fleet to operate as dual-fuel capable using Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) or diesel fuel for propulsion and power generation.
“This is an exciting initiative for BC Ferries that can reduce upward pressure on fares due to lower fuel costs for LNG, and reduce the environmental emissions substantially since
LNG is a cleaner and greener fuel compared to current alternatives,” commented Mark Wilson, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Engineering.
BC Ferries notes that two of the new ships will replace the 49-year old Queen of Burnaby, which sails between Comox and Powell River and the 50-year old Queen of Nanaimo, which services the Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands route. The third vessel will augment peak and shoulder season service on the Southern Gulf Islands route, plus provide refit relief around the fleet.
Bud Streeter, President, LR Canada, notes: “This project is the culmination of a great deal of hard work. The outlook is good for LNG in Canada – there is availability of Canadian gas at highly competitive prices, so commercially this is looking like a smart decision for BC Ferries. Our job was, and will be, to help ensure safety and reliability in the design, build and the bunkering and operation of these ships. Passengers are the most valuable cargo so we will endeavour to contribute to the safe operation of these ships. LNG can provide significant environmental benefits and, as BC Ferries is well aware, safety comes first. We are pleased to provide BC Ferries with our assistance and expertise.’’
In a statement on LR’s website, Marine Communcations Manager Nick Brown describes the specifics of the role LR will play with regard to these new ships:
‘LR Class’ means that the ferries will be required to be built to LR’s Rules, LR’s surveyors will be surveying the ship during construction to check for compliance and, once the ferries have been found to meet LR class requirements and placed in service, LR will survey the ships at regular intervals through their operational lives. In addition, LR’s LNG fuel expertise has been drawn on by BC Ferries to support overall risk management of the project to help ensure the safety of bunkering and all LNG operations.
Brown notes that along with this new project with BC Ferries, his company is also working on a number of other LNG projects worldwide including ferries in the Netherlands, Quebec, a bulk carrier for Swedish principals, car carrier project for Norwegian operators, an ice breaker in Finland, joint development and investment projects with major shipowners and Asian shipyards, as well as infrastructure related consultancy projects with ports in Asia and Europe.
Last month Lloyd’s Register announced a joint development project with Piraeus, Greece based Capital Shipmanagement and Daewoo Shipbuilding (DSME) for an 18,000 teu LNG-fuelled container ship design, and earlier this month it was announced that LR will class Texelstroom, the new innovative large hybrid propulsion ferry that will operate in the Netherlands.