Canada-based Davie Shipbuilding has delivered the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuelled ice-class ferry built in North America to an undisclosed customer.

The newly delivered Armand Imbeau II vessel is capable of carrying out a year-round operation on the St Lawrence river in North America.

The LNG-propulsion has allowed the vessel to conduct a soot, dust or fume-free operation.

LNG releases 90% less nitrogen oxide (NOx), as well as 100% less sulphur (SO2) and fine particle compared to conventional diesel fuel.

Featuring more than 150,000m of on-board cable, Armand Imbeau II is equipped with fully automated safety shutdown systems for gas safety and other solutions.

Davie Shipbuilding president James Davies said: “It would have been easy to build a normal, diesel-powered ferry, but instead Québec decided to pave the way in setting a new environmental standard for the entire continent.

“Québec decided to pave the way in setting a new environmental standard for the entire continent.”

“We inherited this project when we acquired the shipyard in 2012.

“With the project already at a mature concept stage when we arrived, we received a specification from the client of more than 400 pages long and we immediately set to work on solving the puzzle that had been created.”

Davies further noted that a few numbers of LNG-powered ferries have been built in Europe, but most of them develop problems once they enter service.

Davie Shipbuilding Engineering vice-president Ron Pearson said: “This ferry has more systems and automation on-board than an offshore drilling platform or a modern warship.

“It is truly a technological marvel – the cryogenic processes involved in managing this highly volatile fuel, while also creating a vessel, which is safe to carry passengers, has been a huge challenge.”

Earlier this year, Davie launched a naval vessel, Asterix, which is the largest vessel of its kind. It was delivered from a Canadian shipyard.