New ferry getting ready for Gabriola route
0422 - VICTORIA – BC Ferries is marking Earth Day today with the launch of its sixth battery electrichybrid Island Class ferry. The vessel entered the water early Wednesday morning at Damen Shipyards Galati
in Romania. The yet-to-be named ship is the last in a series of six Island Class vessels joining the BC Ferries fleet. When in operation, it will be one of two Island Class vessels assigned to the Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island route.
Work will continue on the new ship until scheduled sea trials in August. Following successful sea trials, the vessel will be delivered to Point Hope Maritime in Victoria in late 2021 for final preparations. Two-ship service
is scheduled to begin on the Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island route in 2022, replacing the Quinsam.
“We are excited to reach this milestone in our Island Class project,” said Captain Jamie
Marshall, BC Ferries’ Vice President, Shipbuilding and Innovation. “The launch of the sixth and final vessel in the series propels BC Ferries closer to reaching its goal to be efficient and environmentally responsible throughout the system.”
The Island Class is a hybrid diesel-electric ferry with a number of key features that support BC Ferries’ Clean Futures Plan. Once electric charging technology can be installed at BC Ferries’ terminals,
these new ships will be configured to operate as all battery-electric ferries, using clean renewable hydroelectric energy. Island Class ferries have the capacity to carry at least 47 vehicles and up to 400 passengers and crew, and allow for fleet redeployments
and retirements of existing dieselfuelled vessels.
Replacing one larger ship with two smaller vessels on the route will provide customers with increased capacity per hour and more frequent service.
Customers will also notice reduced vehicle line-ups and congestion on local roads, and improved safety. It eliminates the need to consume more greenspace to increase the size of terminal holding compounds by moving more traffic more frequently through the
same amount of space.
BC Ferries deployed the first two Island Class vessels on the Powell River – Texada Island route and the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula Island route in mid-2020.
The third and fourth new ships will provide two-ship service on the Campbell River – Quadra Island route in 2022. The fifth Island Class ferry launched in February and, together with the sixth Island Class ferry, will provide two-ship service on the
Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island route in 2022.
BC Ferries issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI) for the construction of the four latest vessels to leading shipyards in Canada
and around the world in July 2018. Canadian shipyards were invited to participate in the competitive bidding process. BC Ferries received responses from 18
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Blanshard Street, Victoria, BC V8W 0B7 Tel (250) 978-1267 Fax (250) 978-1119 bcferries.com/bcfnews/ Note to newsrooms: For urgent media inquiries off-hours, call our emergency line at (250) 516-7211. Page 2
shipyards and short-listed nine shipyards to proceed to the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage. No Canadian companies submitted a bid.
Video of the launch is available here https://youtu.be/s_-FCqbXDbQ. More
information on community events and naming ceremonies will be released as it becomes available. For more information on BC Ferries’ Clean Futures Plan or the Island Class project, please visit bcferries.com.