Enter BC Ferries’ first LNG dual-fuel ropax Salish Orca ꟷ the first of a trio of gas-powered ships the Canadian operator has ordered from Poland-headquartered Remontowa Shipbuilding.
BC Ferries has welcomed Salish Orca into service on the Comox – Powell River route.
President and chief executive Mark Collins cut a ceremonial ribbon to mark the first official car on board the new vessel.
Salish Orca is the first of three new Salish-class vessels that are dual-fuelled and capable of operating on either natural gas or ultra-low sulphur marine diesel. BC Ferries said its use of natural gas for these vessels will result in the reduction of an estimated 9,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, the same as taking approximately 1,900 passenger vehicles off the road annually.
The vessel, which accommodates approximately 145 vehicles and up to 600 passengers and crew, is equipped with two marine evacuation systems with life rafts, smoke and natural gas detection alarms and state-of-the-art fire suppression systems. The vessel measures 107m in length overall and has a service speed of 15.5 knots.
Mr Collins said: “With these new vessels, we continue to move towards the standardisation of our fleet, which offers interoperability and lower crew training and maintenance costs, and also enhances safety.”
This year, BC Ferries will be retiring the Queen of Nanaimo and the Queen of Burnaby from its fleet, replacing them with the Salish-class ships.
All three vessels are scheduled to be in service in 2017.