Société des traversiers du Quebec (STQ) has received the first of three LNG-powered ferries. Built in Italy by Fincantieri S.A., F.A. Gauthier will be the first of its kind to enter service in North America this spring. The ferry will be capable of transporting 800 passengers and 180 cars, and will replace Camille Marcoux on STQ’s Matane-Baie Comeau-Godbout service.

The vessel is equipped with an integrated diesel-electric propulsion, which operates on four dual-fuel power generators capable of running on LNG or diesel fuel. Operating on LNG, the vessel will achieve significant reductions in CO2 emissions, and will reduce sulfur and particle emissions to negligible levels.

The $148 million vessel was ordered by STQ in July of 2012, following a public tendering process that commenced in January of 2012.

The vessel constructed by Fincantieri is expected to be joined during the fall by two more dual fuel ferries which are being built by Chantier Davie Canada Inc. The latter two, to be christened Jos-Deschenes II and Armand-Imbeau II are slated to operate on the Tadoussac-Baie Sainte Catherine route. They will be replacing Armand-Imbeau and Jos-Deschênes, which have serviced the crossing since early 1980.