Damen launches two road ferries for Canadian operator BC Ferries
In the space of just a few weeks, two, 81-metre road ferries for the Canadian ferry operator BC Ferries have been launched at Damen Shipyards Galati and are now being fitted out ahead of entering service next year. Once operational they will be capable of carrying up to 300 passengers and crew, and 47 vehicles, the company said in its release.
The ferries have been built to Damen’s Road Ferry 8117E3 design and the order was secured following an extensive, multi-phased, international tender process. BC Ferries is currently undertaking a fleet renewal programme that will see a number of new vessels operating in the province of British Colombia, on Canada’s Pacific coastline. The twin Damen Road Ferry 8117E3 will serve the Northern Gulf Islands off the coast of Vancouver, replacing vessels that are now over fifty years old.
The tender process initially attracted interest from numerous yards around the world and was designed to deliver maximum value for the users of what is one of the largest ferry operators in the world. The standards required are very high; BC Ferries is regulated by the BC Ferries Commissioner and the service levels are set by the provincial government.
In his speech at the launch, which was delivered partly in Romanian, Paul Catsburg, director of the vessel replacement programme at BC Ferries, said, “This class of vessels is very important for BC Ferries as it represents our newest vessel type, introducing a state-of-the-art, diesel-electric, hybrid propulsion system. The ships’ hybrid design is important for two main reasons; firstly to improve environmental stewardship and secondly to reduce operating costs by evolving to full electric propulsion.”
He also offered his sincere congratulations to all those involved in building the second hull and in particular recognised the efforts that the management and workers of Damen Galati had made to reach this important milestone.
Damen is working to a fixed-priced contract that provides BC Ferries with substantial guarantees related to delivery dates, performance criteria, cost certainty and quality construction. Building two identical vessels will also deliver capital and operating cost savings and additional efficiencies. After-sales warranty support will be provided by Point Hope Shipyards in Victoria, British Columbia in an agreement with Damen.
Damen Shipyards Group
Damen Shipyards Group operates 36 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 12,000 people worldwide. Damen has delivered more than 6,500 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers around 175 vessels annually to customers worldwide. Based on its unique, standardised ship-design concept Damen is able to guarantee consistent quality.
Damen’s focus on standardisation, modular construction and keeping vessels in stock leads to short delivery times, low ‘total cost of ownership’, high resale values and reliable performance. Furthermore, Damen vessels are based on thorough R&D and proven technology.
Damen offers a wide range of products, including tugs, workboats, naval and patrol vessels, high speed craft, cargo vessels, dredgers, vessels for the offshore industry, ferries, pontoons and superyachts.
For nearly all vessel types Damen offers a broad range of services, including maintenance, spare parts delivery, training and the transfer of (shipbuilding) know-how. Damen also offers a variety of marine components, such as nozzles, rudders, winches, anchors, anchor chains and steel works.
Damen Shiprepair & Conversion (DSC) has a worldwide network of eighteen repair and conversion yards of which twelve are located in North West Europe. Facilities at the yards include more than 50 floating (and covered) drydocks, including the longest, 420 x 80 metres, and the widest, 405 x 90 metres, as well as slopes, ship lifts and indoor halls. Projects range from the smallest simple repairs through Class’ maintenance to complex refits and the complete conversion of large offshore structures. DSC completes around 1,300 repair and maintenance jobs annually, both at yards as well as in ports and during voyage.