Following an extensive, multi-phased international tender process, Canadian ferry operator BC Ferries has awarded Damen Shipyards Group a contract to construct two 81-metre ferries. The vessels are part of BC Ferries’ ongoing fleet renewal programme.
BC Ferries operates 24 ferry routes along the coast of British Columbia, Canada. The new vessels will be able to cover many of the company’s routes to the Northern and Southern Gulf Islands off the coast of Vancouver. Part of a fleet renewal programme, the new ferries will replace the 59-year old North Island Princess and the 53-year old Quadra Queen II.
Damen initially submitted its vessel designs to BC Ferries in March 2016 in response to a Request for Expressions of Interest. After attracting interest from no less than 28 shipyards, the highly competitive tender process proceeded in October 2016 when short-listed companies – including five Canadian shipyards – were invited to submit their bids. Damen was selected as the subsequent winner of this tender process.
Both vessels will be constructed at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania and are expected to enter service in 2020. The 81-metre long design will have capacity to carry approximately 44 vehicles and up to 300 passengers and crew. Damen has an agreement with Point Hope Shipyards in Victoria, British Columbia to perform any warranty work locally on these vessels.
“This is a design-build, fixed-priced contract that provides BC Ferries with substantial guarantees related to delivery dates, performance criteria, cost certainty and quality construction,” said Mark Wilson, BC Ferries’ Vice-President of Engineering. “A key objective of BC Ferries’ fleet renewal program and the acquisition of these two minor class vessels is to achieve capital and operating cost savings and efficiencies through an overall class and standardization strategy.”
“We are extremely proud to be constructing these two ferries for British Columbia,” says Damen Leo Postma, Damen Sales Manager. “Furthermore, we are looking forward to further developing our existing relationship with BC Ferries by building safe, reliable high quality ferries contributing to BC Ferries’ vessel replacement program.”
Damen Shipyards Group operates 33 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 9,000, and has delivered more than 6,000 vessels to customers in more than 100 countries. Based on its standardized ship-designs, Damen is able to guarantee consistent quality.
Following five extensive weeks of repair and installation activities, Seaspan’s Vancouver Drydock (VDC) announced on-schedule completion of its refit activities on Louis Dreyfus’ Ile de Batz Special Purpose/Cable Layer vessel. Arriving on April 21 and departing VDC on May 25, 2017, the Paris (France) based vessel underwent a wide scope of work that included the assembly of a new plow (special insitu welding/machining), overall support for mobilizing the ship, as well as the primary focus of the refit program, the installation of a ballast water treatment system – the first of its kind at VDC.
Port of Johnstown officials reported a roaring start to the season as it opened its doors on June 4 to more than 1,000 members of the public as well as politicians and business leaders for its 1st annual Port Day. “The port is charging ahead with further infrastructure improvements that will help attract new cargoes and allow our existing customers to expand their use of the port. We have completed a new bypass access road to allow for the shipment of height-restricted oversized cargo and we have agreed to expand grain storage by a further 10,000 tonnes,” said Robert Dalley, General Manager of the Port. “Our shipping season also got off to an early and busy start with vessels delivering road salt and calcium chloride and loading up with corn for export.”
At the Annual General Meeting of Trois-Rivières Port Authority, its President and CEO, Gaetan Boivin, provided an assessment of the Port’s On Course for 2020 plan, and announced that the plan, launched in 2008, will be completed by the end of 2017, three years ahead of schedule and within budget. As Mr. Gaétan Boivin (President and CEO) explained, “In recent years, construction activities have been the order of the day at the port, intended to increase capacity, increase productivity, improve safety and security, and improve intermodality. But above all, these projects have aimed to better integrate the port into the surrounding urban environment and reduce its environmental impact. These projects have required investments of $ 131.6 million, of which $ 49 million was contributed by the Port, $ 22.2 million by the government of Canada, $ 8.2 million by the government of Quebec and $ 52.2 million by the private sector.
On Thursday, June 15 M/V Vega Rose completed the loading of 48,069 metric tonnes of corn from G3’s Trois-Rivières port terminal. The previous record in Trois-Rivières was set by M/V St-Matthew in 2004, loading 41,747 metric tonnes. The new record is due in part to the high water depth this year, currently measuring 12 metres, 1.2 metres above normal. The configuration of the M/V Vega Rose was ideal for maximizing cargo intake, which has been loading corn received from local producers since June 13. It will be leaving port for Spain, a trip of around 10 days.
Gaétan Boivin, President and CEO of TRPA, explained that all the necessary conditions were in place for setting this new record. “The port facilities must have the logistical capacity to receive the trucks carrying the corn. To load the vessel’s five holds, around 1,300 trucks were required over a relatively short period of two to three weeks”.
Built in 2007, the bulk carrier M/V Vega Rose, with a length overall of 189.9 metres and a breadth extreme of 32.26 metres, has a load capacity of 55,711 metric tonnes. It is registered in Panama, operated by Fednav International and chartered by Bungee International. During its stay in Trois-Rivières, the vessel was represented by Navitrans Shipping Agencies Inc. The twenty or so crew members were of Indonesian nationality.