Damen Shipyards Galati has launched the third Island Class, hybrid-electric vessel for BC Ferries.

The vessel is part of a six-vessel order for BC Ferries.

The vessels will help the ferry operator to provide sustainable inter-island ferry services between Vancouver Island and Vancouver in Canada’s British Columbia province.

In February, Damen delivered the first two vessels, Island Discovery and Island Aurora, to the ferry operator, which has been providing services along the British Columbian coast since June.

The vessels are Damen Road Ferries 8117 E3 with the E3 standing for efficient operation, economic viability, and environmental friendliness.

The vessels’ hybrid fuel arrangement supports BC Ferries’ goal of improving environmental performance with an aim of moving to fully electric propulsion in the future.

The ferry has the capacity to carry at least 47 cars and up to 300 passengers.

BC Ferries CEO Mark Collins said: “I just want to say thank you to everyone at Damen Shipyards Galati for the launching of the Island Class phase three. This is the third in our series of six vessels that are bringing clean, green, environmentally sustainable performance to the ferry system of British Columbia.

“Up and down the coast, the first two ships have been a great success and we look forward to receiving the next four. Thank you to everybody for your role in bringing this tremendous vessel to the people of British Columbia.”

This week, Damen Shipyards secured a contract from Dutch ferry joint venture Aqualiner-Swets for the delivery of nine passenger vessels.

Six of the nine vessels supplied by Damen will be hybrid and carbon fibre waterbuses that will serve the fast ferry intercity routes, primarily between Dordrecht, Sliedrecht, Rotterdam, and the World Heritage site Kinderdijk.