(Salish Raven / Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

BC Ferries has commissioned a company in Poland to build a new liquefied natural gas-fuelled vessel that is slated to go into service in 2022.

Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. in Gdansk, Poland has been awarded a $92.3 million contract to design, build, and deliver the 107 metre Salish Class vessel, identical to the three vessels built by the same company in 2016.

“Our Clean Futures Plan is our path to replace diesel fuels with cleaner energy options. While this cannot be achieved in a single step, we are continually seeking energy sources that offer a cleaner, lower carbon-intensity option to displace non-renewable diesel,” said Captain Jamie Marshall, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Business Development & Innovation.

See also: BC Ferries wins innovation award for switching from diesel to LNG

“In our move towards a sustainable future, adopting LNG is one way to reduce our impact on the environment today. This new vessel will be our sixth ship fuelled by natural gas.”

The Crown corporation’s agreement with Remontowa features substantial guarantees related to delivery dates, performance criteria, cost certainty and quality construction.

The total budget includes financing and project management costs.

Vessel details

Once complete, the new vessel will have the capacity to carry at least 138 vehicles and up
to 600 passengers and crew.

It will replace the Mayne Queen, a diesel-fuelled ship which will then be retired, and operate in the Southern Gulf Islands in 2022.

According to BC Ferries, the ship will be powered by three Wartsila engines and electrically propelled by Schottel thrusters at each end, driven by an efficient gas-electric power plant.

To find a suitable company to design and build the vessel, the Crown corporation issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI) to start the bidding process.

A total of 16 international companies responded, out of which three were shortlisted – no Canadian companies applied.