FortisBC to supply LNG fuel to BC Ferries new ships

FortisBC to supply LNG fuel to BC Ferries new ships
Andrzej Wojtkiewicz, CEO of Remontowa, and Rob Clarke form BC Ferries at the steel cutting ceremony for the first newbuild

FortisBC has signed a ten-year contract to supply LNG fuel for the three new intermediate class vessels that are currently under construction for Canadian operator BC Ferries.

The company, which has plants at Tilbury in Delta and Mount Hayes near Nanaimo, will deliver the LNG fuel to the vessels during non-operational periods. By the time all three ships are in service in 2017, FortisBC will supply BC Ferries with 300,000 gigajoules of LNG per year.

“We are pleased to collaborate with FortisBC, a safety leader in gas supply, for our new LNG vessels,” said Mark Wilson, BC Ferries’ vice president of engineering. “The use of LNG has both financial and environmental benefits and this contract will ensure we have a long-term, secure supply to power the new intermediate class vessels.”

Last year, BC Ferries spent CAD$126 million on fuel and expects to gain significant savings by operating LNG ferries. FortisBC also provided BC Ferries with CAD$6 million in incentive funding for the new vessels to help offset incremental capital costs associated with the use of LNG.

“BC Ferries has taken the lead as one of the first passenger ferry services in the country to use LNG,” said Doug Stout, FortisBC’s vice president of market development and external relations. “This abundant, made-in-BC energy source can reduce greenhouse gas emissions between 15 to 25% providing cleaner air for British Columbians.”

BC Ferries’ first ship is scheduled to enter service in late 2016, the second vessel by early 2017 and the third ship by mid-2017. Two of the new ships will replace the 50-year old Queen of Burnaby, which sails between Comox and Powell River and the 51-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 107m vessels will accommodate 145 vehicles and 600 passengers.

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
Tuesday, February 3, 2015