Canadian Operator to Build 3 LNG-Powered Ferries

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday December 10, 2013

Canada's BC Ferry Services Inc (BC Ferries) has announced it is to start using liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkers, and will pay $200 million to $300 million for three dual-fuel diesel- and LNG-powered ferries, the Vancouver Sun reports.

B.C. Ferries has said it could have cut its $121 million 2012 fuel bill in half if it had been using LNG.

Greg Peterson, Director of Engineering Services, earlier this year said that switching to LNG for environmental compliance was not as significant for the company as other operators as it already uses diesel that "put virtually no sulfur oxides in the local air."

The new ships, due to begin services starting in 2015, will be able to hold between 123 and 145 vehicles and as many as 600 people.

The company is in the process of choosing a shipyard to build the vessels, having shortlisted the province's Seaspan Shipyards, located in Vancouver, as well as companies from Norway, German, Poland, and Turkey.

The decision to consider only one Canadian shipyard for the job came under fire from the Shipyard General Workers' Federation.

"B.C. Ferries should be ashamed of themselves," said President George MacPherson, who also noted that Seaspan Shipyards is already set to start building federal ships with contracts that could extend for as long as two decades.

B.C. Ferries said in June that it was considering the possible use of LNG engines on the three ferries, weighing the higher construction price against lower life cycle costs of ships using the cheaper fuel.