The Canadian shipowner BC Ferries, continuing its fleet development program “Clean Futures Plan”, has signed a contract with the Remontowa Shipbuilding SA of the Remontowa Holding Group for the construction of another fully equipped “Salish” class ferry, powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).
On Tuesday, 4 February this year, sheet metal burning took place, starting the construction of the new unit.
The symbolic ceremony was attended by, among others, Piotr Soyka – President of Remontowa Holding, members of the Management Board and Supervisory Board of Remontowa Shipbuilding SA, representatives of BC Ferries shipowner and Lloyd’s Register classifier as well as representatives of trade unions operating in shipyards of Remontowa Holding capital group.
– The ship will be powered by liquefied natural gas, which is extremely important for reducing the negative impact on the environment – stressed Mark Schaaf, project manager of BC Ferries, who participated in the ceremony. – The fourth ship will be the same as the first three, which will contribute to the smooth functioning of the BC Ferries fleet. I am counting on close cooperation with Remontowa Shipbuilding and Marine Design & Consulting during the construction of this vessel as well – summarized Schaaf.
Remontowa Shipbuilding SA has already handed over three similar ferries (Salish Raven – in April 2017, Salish Eagle – in February 2017 and Salish Orca – in November 2016). The return of the shipowner from Canada with another order confirms the quality of the design and construction of the previously delivered ferries, verified in operation.
“Salish” class unit
Another ‘Salish’ class unit will be built to the same design and is to be handed over in 2022. It will replace the Mayne Queen ferry and will operate, together with the Queen of Cumberland, the Swartz Bay – Southern Gulf Islands line in the province of British Columbia in western Canada. According to the press release, the shipowner’s total contract value is about 92.3 million dollars.
It is a large in its class (107 m long, capacity of 138 vehicles and 600 passengers), containing innovative technical solutions, environmentally friendly dual-fuel passenger-car ferries – with the possibility of using traditional diesel fuel, but essentially designed to burn natural gas (stored as liquefied gas – LNG).
The “Salish” class ferries previously delivered by the Remontowa Shipbuilding were the first LNG-powered BC Ferries in the fleet and one of the first of its kind in North America. Thanks to the innovative propulsion, these ships emit up to 25 percent less carbon dioxide, more than 85 percent sulphur oxides, 50 percent nitrogen oxides and 99 percent less particulate matter than the propulsion based on conventional marine fuel.
In the official announcement, the shipowner stressed that Remontowa Holding is the largest capital group in the shipbuilding industry in Poland and the leader of the industrial sector in the region, comprising more than 20 companies, while Remontowa Shipbuilding SA has extensive, documented experience in the construction of ferries and other vessels for many international clients. So far the shipyard has delivered over 1000 ships.
Remontowa Shiprepair Yard SA for BC Ferries
In 2018-2019 Remontowa Shiprepair Yard rebuilt two “Spirit II” class ferries for BC Ferries under the so-called “mid-life upgrade”. Spirit of British Columbia and Spirit of Vancouver Island were equipped with new propulsion systems. Currently their power plant is dual-fuel, adapted to run on both low-sulphur diesel and natural gas (stored as LNG) as the main fuel.
For the reconstruction of Spirit of British Columbia, the shipowner and the Remontowa Shiprepair Yard received the Shippax Award in the category Shippax Retrofit Award 2018 for: “the first conversion of the large ro-pax ferry, involving the replacement of four main engines with new dual-fuel engines, the installation of a large LNG tank under the main deck and an innovative bunkering system (allowing this operation to be carried out both from outside the vessel and from the deck – ed.). At the same time, the passenger spaces were also modernised and refurbished.
The Spirit of British Columbia and Spirit of Vancouver Island are the largest ferries in the Canadian ship owner’s fleet. Both operate the connection Metro Vancouver – Victoria (Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay), which is the busiest among the ferry lines on which the BC Ferries fleet operates.