Damen Shipyards to build vessels for Canada’s BC Ferries

The four ferries will be fully electric and used for short-range services in British Columbia

Damen Shipyards to build vessels for Canada’s BC Ferries

Damen Shipyards

Damen Shipyards will build four fully electric car and passenger ferries for BC Ferries

By Laura Hyde |

Netherlands-based Damen Shipyards is to build and supply four passenger car ferries to BC Ferries in Canada. The vessels will be fully electric and will provide short-range services around British Columbia. 

Each vessel will be capable of carrying up to 47 vehicles and 390 passengers and will be based on Damen’s double-ended Island-class RoRo 8117 E3 model. The ferries will be able to charge rapidly using renewable electricity from BC Hydro, during passenger and vehicle embarkation and disembarkation at each port. Each vessel will also have back-up auxiliary diesel engines. 

The order of these four vessels will take the total number of ferries that Damen has supplied to BC Ferries in recent years to 10. However, these four are the first to operate using only electric power. 

“The new hybrid electric vessels will further standardise our fleet, both increasing capacity and improving our flexibility to move ships across routes so our passengers can have confidence that we’ll get them where they need to go,” said Nicolas Jimenez, president and CEO of BC Ferries. “Adding more Island-class vessels will also make it easier to deploy crew, create efficiencies in training costs, and promote safe, reliable and environmentally conscious ferry services up and down the coast.”  

The ferries are scheduled to begin operations by 2027. Two vessels are expected to serve the Nanaimo Harbour and Gabriola Island route, while the other two will operate on the route connecting Campbell River and Quadra Island. 

“We are very excited and extremely pleased with the award of an order of four more Island Class type vessels for BC Ferries,” said Leo Postma, Damen’s area director for the Americas. “We have been working alongside the technical staff at BC Ferries for seven years now and together we have developed a series totalling 10 ferries that are highly efficient; meeting all the future requirements of safe, reliable and sustainable waterborne public transport.” 

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