The Government of Ontario has signed a contract for Damen Shipyards Group to build two road ferries (Image: Damen Shipyards)
The Government of Ontario has signed a contract for Damen Shipyards Group to design, build and deliver two hybrid-ready ferries, which will operate in Canadian waters of the Great Lakes.
The new ferries, which will be based in Kingston and Loyalist Township, Ontario, are expected to make crossings faster for the one million passengers and 500,000 vehicles which travel between Wolfe Island and Kingston, and the 270,000 passengers and 130,000 vehicles which travel to and from Amherst Island each year.
The ferries will share many design features and equipment specifications. Both ferries will be hybrid-ready and can be fitted with batteries when required. They will be significantly larger than the existing vessels and will allow more people, vehicles and goods to travel to and from the islands.
“We are very happy and very proud to have this opportunity to further expand Ontario’s fleet of ferries,” said Leo Postma, Damen sales manager. “A rigorous tender process is always a test of how competitive we are and we are very pleased with the result. This new contract is a continuation of successful sales into Canada by Damen and the two new ships will take the number of Damen ferries operating in the country up to eight, along with other Damen workboats. More are also currently under construction. As a result of orders such as these, Damen Shipyards Galati is becoming an international centre of excellence for the production of ferries.”
“Investing in new ferries will keep these beautiful island communities connected to the Ontario mainland,” said Steven Del Duca, minister of transportation. “In addition to moving people to and from Wolfe and Amherst Islands, these new ferries will generate local economic opportunities and growth that will benefit all residents.”
The ferries are scheduled for delivery at the end of 2019 and 2020.