The British Columbia Ferry Services, also known as BC Ferries, has ordered four more hybrid ferries from the Damen Shipyards Group in the Netherlands. The hybrid ferries are expected to go into service in 2022.
This is not the first order for hybrid ferries coming from Canada for Damen Shipyards – back in 2017, BC Ferries awarded a contract to Damen to build two electric-hybrid vessels. These have recently successfully completed their sea trials and will arrive in Victoria, British Columbia by January of 2020. Damen Shipyards also is supplying their ferries to Ontario.
The cost of the order runs at $200 million, which underwent an international bidding process involving a shortlist of nine shipyards. “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 Captain Jamie Marshall, BC Ferries’ vice president of business development. BC Ferries will be investing around $3.9 billion upgrading ferry terminals and upgrading and replacing vessels over the next twelve years.
Next to reducing pollution, which the ferry operator promises to continue as the technology matures further, the manufacturer also advertises that underwater noise is reduced by the twin propellers. The ferries each carry an 800 kWh battery system, which can even be upgraded to 2,000 kWh. Up to 47 vehicles and 450 passengers and crew can fit onboard, and with a top speed of 14 knots, the hybrid ferries are even faster than the old diesel ferries they will be replacing.