BC Ferries has awarded Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. of Gdansk, Poland contracts totaling $165 million to build three new intermediate class vessels. A total budget of $252 million has been approved that includes financing and project management costs, as well as $51 million for Canadian taxes and federal import duties. “These are design-build, fixed-price contracts that provide 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.
Other highlights of the contracts include:
• Remontowa assumes all design, construction and delivery risk,
• Guarantees are in place for vessel completion dates,
• Favourable payment terms with 80 per cent payment upon vessel completion,
• Vessel performance guarantees related to speed, carrying capacity, manoeuvrability and fuel consumption,
• Warranties in excess of industry standards,
• Penalties for late delivery,
• Refund guarantee.
“As we begin the next phase of our newbuild program, a key objective is to achieve capital and operating cost savings and efficiencies through an overall class and standardization strategy,” said Wilson. “Standardization offers greater interoperability and lower crew training and maintenance costs, and also enhances safety. This is a significant step forward in taking BC Ferries from 17 classes of ships to five classes.”
The new intermediate class vessels will be the first vessels in BC Ferries’ fleet to operate as dual-fuel capable using Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) or diesel fuel for propulsion and power generation. “This is an exciting initiative for BC Ferries that can reduce upward pressure on fares due to lower fuel costs for LNG, and reduce the environmental emissions substantially since LNG is a cleaner and greener fuel compared to current alternatives,” said Wilson.
Two of the new ships will replace the 49-year old Queen of Burnaby, which sails between Comox and Powell River and the 50-year old Queen of Nanaimo, which services the Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands route. The third vessel will augment peak and shoulder season service on the Southern Gulf Islands route, plus provide refit relief around the fleet. These new 105 metre vessels will accommodate 145 vehicles and 600 passengers.
The first new intermediate class vessel is scheduled to arrive in British Columbia in August 2016, the second in October 2016 and the third in February 2017. Remontowa is responsible for delivering the vessels to Victoria. The first vessel is expected to be in service in the fall of 2016, following extensive crew training and familiarization.
Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. was established in 1952 and privatized in 2001. BC Ferries conducted an extensive competitive bidding process to ensure that the company secured the best bid for its customers and the taxpayers of British Columbia. One shipyard from BC, Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyard, was among the five shipyards shortlisted and invited to participate in the RFP process, however it decided to withdraw as it indicated it has maximized its available capacity due to commitments with the federal government building vessels under the National Shipbuilding and Procurement Strategy as well as constructing BC Ferries’ new cable ferry.