Tuesday, July 8, 2014

BC Ferries Awards $165 Million Build Contract

By Mark Edward Nero

Following a competitive bidding process, British Columbia-based BC Ferries has awarded contracts totaling $165 million to build three new intermediate class vessels to Gdansk, Poland-based ship repair and building company Remontowa Shipbuilding SA.

The contracts, as well as a total project budget of $252 million, have been finalized by BC Ferries’ Board of Directors, the company said July 3.

“These are design-build, fixed-price contracts that provide BC Ferries with substantial guarantees related to delivery dates, performance criteria, cost certainty and quality construction,” Mark Wilson, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Engineering said. “As we begin the next phase of our newbuild program, a key objective is to achieve capital and operating cost savings and efficiencies through an overall class and standardization strategy,” Wilson said. “Standardization offers greater interoperability and lower crew training and maintenance costs, and also enhances safety. This is a significant step forward in taking BC Ferries from 17 classes of ships to five classes.”

The new intermediate class vessels are planned to be the first vessels in BC Ferries’ fleet to operate as dual-fuel capable using liquefied natural gas (LNG) or diesel fuel for propulsion and power generation.

Two of the new ships will replace the 49-year old Queen of Burnaby, which sails between Comox and Powell River and the 50-year old Queen of Nanaimo, which services the Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands route. The third vessel will augment peak and shoulder season service on the Southern Gulf Islands route, plus provide refit relief around the fleet.

The 345-foot ferries are designed to accommodate 145 vehicles and 600 passengers. The first new intermediate class vessel is scheduled to arrive in British Columbia in August 2016, the second in October 2016 and the third in February 2017, with the first vessel expected to be in service in the fall of 2016, following crew training and familiarization.

Ship repair and shipbuilding yard Remontowa Shipbuilding SA is a member of the Remontowa Holding capital group, specializing in ship design and construction of new ships, conversions and repairs, offshore units and steel structures. The shipyard, which was established in 1952, was privatized in 2001.