The new ferry, christened Salish Orca, will replace the 50-year-old Queen of Burnaby on the Comox – Powell River route after it joins the BC Ferries’ fleet in late 2016.
Featuring dual-fuel, Salish Orca is capable of running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) or ultralow sulphur diesel.
Three ships are currently under construction, with the other ships, Salish Eagle and Salish Raven, set to enter operations in the Southern Gulf Islands in 2017.
Using primarily LNG to fuel the news ships will result in reduced emissions and reduced costs for BC Ferries.
“This marks a major milestone in building our new ships, as we honour maritime tradition with the official naming ceremony for the Salish Orca,” said Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries’ President and CEO.
“As we progress with our vessel replacement program, we will continue to look for opportunities to build LNG-powered ferries, while maintaining our high standard of safety and reliability as well as reducing our environmental footprint.”
The new Salish-Class ships will replace vessels that are at the end of their life cycle.