BC Ferries announced that Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards was awarded a $15 million contract for the construction of a new cable ferry to service its route between Buckley Bay and Denman Island. Seaspan’s contract award comes on the heels of a competitive procurement process that included three shortlisted shipyards – two in Canada and one in the United States – as well as an endorsement from the BC Ferries Board of Directors.
The 78.5 metre cable ferry, expected to be in operation by the summer of 2015, will accommodate up to 50 vehicles and 150 passengers. Construction is scheduled to start in June, 2014, with delivery of the vessel slated for the first quarter of 2015.
“We are proud to partner with BC Ferries to build its first-ever cable ferry, and this announcement is a further demonstration of our commitment to establishing Seaspan Shipyards as a world-class shipbuilding and ship repair centre of excellence,” said Brian Carter, President, Seaspan Shipyards. “This ferry will allow us to fine-tune our skilled workforce as we prepare for efficient construction of the Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel (OFSV) for the Canadian Coast Guard this fall at our new, state-of-the-art facility.”
This cable ferry, other potential new construction opportunities under evaluation, and the first OFSV maximize Vancouver Shipyard’s available capacity. As a result, Seaspan announces its decision to withdraw from BC Ferries’ December 9, 2013 Request for Proposals (RFP) to build three new intermediate class vessels. “Seaspan is committed to returning BC’s shipbuilding industry to its once thriving roots, said Brian. “Seaspan has a multi-year, multi-billion dollar opportunity to build up to 17 vessels for the men and women of the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS). Our capacity in the coming years will be consumed by this work and we look forward to opening up efficient commercial shipbuilding at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards, including future newbuilds for BC Ferries and mid-life upgrades, once the early NSPS vessels are successfully delivered.”
Seaspan Shipyards is currently in its second year of a two-year, $200 million Modernization Project, scheduled for completion by early Fall 2014. Following this, construction of the first NSPS Non-Combat Vessel will take place in October, 2014.