British Columbia Ferry Services (BC Ferries) has marked a significant milestone in the construction of its third, new, Intermediate-class ferry (ICF) with the first steel-cutting ceremony.
Poland’s Remontowa Shipbuilding is currently building three such vessels for BC Ferries.
The new dual-fuel vessels will be capable of running on either liquefied natural gas (LNG) or ultra-low sulphur diesel.
BC Ferries president and CEO Mike Corrigan said: "The new ships will replace vessels that are at the end of their lifecycle, and will be more fuel-efficient and cleaner burning, reducing our impact on the environment.
"We are eagerly anticipating the arrival of the new vessels and the construction start of the third ICF is an important milestone in bringing these ships one step closer to sailing in our fleet."
The first vessel in this series is expected to be delivered in August next year, while the second and third are scheduled for delivery in October 2016 and February 2017, respectively.
These new-builds are part of BC Ferries’ vessel replacement plan to standardise its ships for greater interoperability.
The first vessel will replace the 50-year old Queen of Burnaby, while the second vessel will replace the 51-year old Queen of Nanaimo.
The third ship will be used to strengthen peak and shoulder season services on the Southern Gulf Islands route, alongside providing refit relief.
In July 2014, Remontowa Shipbuilding received contracts worth $165m to construct these three vessels. The shipyard completed the steel cutting of second ICF in April this year.
Image: Officials during the first steel-cutting ceremony of BC Ferries’ third new Intermediate-class ferry (ICF). Photo: courtesy of British Columbia Ferry Services Inc.