New LNG-powered ferries for BC Ferries

By Finance

 BC Ferries (Canadian ferry operator) has the intention to order 3 new ferries powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). The company informed that its application for the 3 new vessels was approved by the British Columbia state ferries commissioner.

The first 2 ferries will be able to transport 145 vehicles and up to 650 passengers, the services is expected to start in 2016. The last ferry will be able to transport 125 vehicles and 600 passengers will be ready in 2017.

New ferries are planned to replace 2 ships that will be retired in 2016. The president and chief executive officer of BC Ferries Mr Mike Corrigan informed that would not disclose the anticipated costs of the new vessels (for cost-competitive reasons).
He added also that the company would prefer ships that are LNG-powered. These vessels have higher initial costs, he told, but also have lower overall life-cycle costs than those equipped with diesel.

"We are bullish on LNG, but we haven’t made any final decisions," - he said. "There are two parts to that. Number one is we have got to see what the price premium we have to pay with shipyards to design and build natural gas-fuelled ferries is. Then we have to see what the delivered price of the fuel is to our terminals, or to our ships, versus diesel."

B.C. Ferries will issue a request for pre-qualification in coming weeks and is inviting Canadian and international shipyards to participate. The contract will likely be awarded in early 2014. Mr. Corrigan said he would like to see a Canadian yard be successful.