BC Ferries orders four more hybrid passenger ferries
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.
(…) What do China, Russia, and Sweden have in common? China has connected Hong Kong to Mainland China by a bridge, Russia connected Crimea to the Russian Federation by a bridge and Sweden (you guessed it) is connected to the rest of Europe by a bridge between Sweden and Denmark. With technology and revolutionized engineering it would take a mere 2 years to build a bridge connecting the Sunshine Coast and Bowen Island to the Mainland and abolishing the inconvenient unreliable BC Ferries all together. “Yes but what about the cost” argument is not even an argument. The Chinese can build it and pay for it and the taxpayer would not have no fork out a dime. How? By a toll bridge connecting Bowen and The Sunshine Coast to the mainland with a mere $10 toll (beating the increasing unreliable $60 price that you have to pay BC Ferries and endure lines, unreliable service and longer travel time. “What about the environment” you might add. A bridge with electric cars going through it is much better for the environment than those fossil fuel toxic vessels that BC Ferries employee. (…) It’s about time BC acts and connects the Sunshine Coast and Bowen Island to the mainland and say no more to BC Ferries.