Damen builds all-electric car ferries for Canada

Caption: Damen Shipyards builds four electric ferries for BC Ferries

Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards has been awarded the contract to build four all-electric car ferries for BC Ferries.

DamenShipyards was awarded the contract for the construction and delivery of the vessels in an international bidding process.

The new ferries will be deployed on short-haul services in the coastal waters of the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC). This order brings the total number of ferries that Damen has supplied to BC Ferries in recent years to ten. However, these new ferries will be the first to be 100% electrically powered.

The vessels are based on Damen’s double-ended Island-class RoRo model 8117 E3. Each vessel can carry up to 47 vehicles and 390 passengers. Battery packs with a capacity of 2,000 kW supply the power for the drives. Fast charging with electricity takes place as the ferries disembark and embark their passengers and vehicles at each end. Each vessel will also have auxiliary diesel engines for back-up and general redundancy.

Damen is also supplying the shore-side equipment

The shore-side loading equipment will also be supplied by Damen. This is the fourth time the shipbuilder has offered this service, including for the first time in Canada in 2021 to support two Damen hybrid ferries delivered to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. This was followed by projects in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Dordrecht, Netherlands.

“The new hybrid electric vessels will further standardize our fleet and increase both capacity and our flexibility to shift vessels to other routes so our passengers can trust us to get them where they want to go,” said Nicolas Jimenez, President and CEO of BC Ferries. “The addition of more Island Class vessels will also facilitate crew deployment, reduce training costs and promote safe, reliable and environmentally conscious ferry services along the coast.”

Leo Postma, Area Director Americas at Damen, added: “We are very pleased and excited about the order for four more Island Class vessels for BC Ferries. We have been working with BC Ferries’ technical staff for seven years and together we have developed a series of ten ferries that are highly efficient and meet all future requirements for safe, reliable and sustainable public transportation.”

The four vessels are scheduled to enter service by 2027, two each on the routes between Nanaimo Harbour and Gabriola Island and Campbell River and Quadra Island.

Damen Shipyards baut vier Elektro-Fähren für B.C.Ferries
Damen Shipyards builds four electric ferries for BC Ferries

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