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Thursday, November 7, 2019 

Canadian operator BC Ferries has awarded Damen Shipyards Group of the Netherlands contracts to build four more battery electric-hybrid Island Class vessels scheduled to go into service in 2022.

The order followed a competitive tender offer, and comes after a 2017 contract with Damen for two 'first in class' battery electric-hybrid vessels, which have now completed sea trials and are due to arrive in Victoria, BC by January 2020.

With the extension of the partnership between BC Ferries and Damen now confirmed, Damen will extend its agreement with Point Hope Shipyards of Victoria, B.C. to provide technical and warranty support for the new vessels.

“Our Clean Futures Plan spells out our strategy to reduce GHG emissions by replacing our legacy carbon intensive fossil fuelled vessels with ships using clean energy,” said Capt Jamie Marshall, BC Ferries’ VP Business Development & Innovation. “These next four Island Class ships are a major step in our plan to progressively lower emissions across the fleet and be a leader in the energy transition to a lower carbon future.”

When electric charging technology matures to make electricity available in the quantities required, BC Ferries will operate these new ships as all-electric ferries, using clean energy. In the interim, these ships will use an on board low sulphur diesel hybrid system.

This agreement with Damen is a design-build, fixed-priced contract that provides BC Ferries with substantial guarantees related to delivery dates, performance criteria, cost certainty and quality construction. The total project budget, which includes financing and project management costs, is about CA$200 million.

The Island Class vessels will have the capacity to carry at least 47 vehicles and 300–450 passengers and crew depending on configuration. As well as the hybrid/electric propulsion system they will feature SCR for low NOx emissions from the generators, a low-noise twin propeller system, a biofouling resistant and low resistance hull coating, LED lighting throughout, and are designed to be accessible without passenger lifts, offering further energy savings.

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