Friday, November 21, 2014

Seaspan Awards LNG Ferries Contract

By Mark Edward Nero

British Columbia-based Seaspan Ferries Corp. has awarded the contract for construction of two new dual-fuelled (diesel and liquefied natural gas) ferries to Sedef Shipyard of Istanbul, Turkey, the company announced Nov. 19.

The 488-foot ferries, both expected to be in operation by late 2016, are designed to accommodate up to 59 trailers. Construction is scheduled to start in early 2015.

The contract award comes on the heels of an extensive and competitive procurement process that included more than 40 shipyards around the world, as well as an analysis of Seaspan Shipyard’s capacity to construct these vessels at its new Vancouver Shipyards facility.

“Our decision to have a non-Seaspan shipyard build our new ferries was not made lightly, but it was a simple decision based on capacity,” Seaspan CEO Jonathan Whitworth said, alluding to a contract the company has to build non-combat vessels for Canada’s federal government. In 2011, Vancouver Shipyards won a multi-year, multi-billion dollar project to build vessels for the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard.

“For the next five to seven years, our new vessel-building capacity will be solely dedicated to the NSPS Non-Combat vessels,” Whitworth said.

Sedef Shipyard, founded in 1975, is owned by Turkon Holdings, which provides marine transportation and shipbuilding services, along with marinas, hotels and other tourism ventures. It has built more than 175 vessels over the past four decades.