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Friday, August 5, 2016

Delivery of 3 LNG-Powered Ferries Delayed

By Mark Edward Nero

The Salish Orca, a new intermediate-class vessel being built for BC Ferries, won’t be delivered at the end of August, but rather by the end of 2016, the British Columbia ferry operator says. The delay, BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall told local radio station CFAX 1070, is due to this being the first time the company has had natural gas-powered vessels design-built, a process that requires considerably more review.

The ferry, which is replacing the 50-year-old Queen of Burnaby, is being built by Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. in Gdansk, Poland. It’s the first of three new intermediate-class vessels expected to be built, the others being Salish Eagle and Salish Raven.

The Polish shipyard was awarded a $165-million contract in 2014 to build the three new ferries. Delivery of the second vessel is now expected in early 2017, rather than October; the third is anticipated in the first quarter of next year.

The ships are being built as dual-fuel, capable of running on LNG or ultra low-sulfur diesel. Using primarily LNG to fuel the new ships will result in reduced emissions and reduced costs, according to BC Ferries.

The new Salish-Class ships will replace vessels that are at the end of their life cycle. BC Ferries’ use of LNG is expected result in the reduction of an estimated 9,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, the same as taking 1,900 passenger vehicles off the road annually because LNG is cleaner burning than marine diesel.