Vancouver-based Western Pacific Marine Ltd has been awarded a C$62.9M (US$48M) contract to design and build an ‘electric-ready’ car ferry for Kootenay Lake in British Columbia, Canada
“With construction beginning here in Canada on the new electric-ready ferry for Kootenay Lake, we are building toward a greener future with made-in-Canada clean technology,” said Canada Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna. “Once launched, the new ferry will make it easier for residents and tourists to travel through the Kootenay region.”
Plans call for the new ferry to be built as a hybrid diesel-electric with all the systems, equipment and components for all-electric propulsion. It will be fully converted to electric propulsion by 2030, once shore power is installed.
As part of CleanBC, British Columbia (BC) is working to electrify the inland ferry fleet by 2040.
With a 55-car capacity, the new ferry will almost double the vehicle capacity of the existing vessel, Balfour, which will be retired from service. More than 65 years old, Balfour has a capacity of 28 vehicles and 150 passengers.
Naval architectural firm 3GA Marine Ltd was selected as the owner’s representative by the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation for the new ferry vessel that will be delivered in 2023.
“This is an exciting milestone for a project that will significantly benefit the entire region,” said MLA for Nelson-Creston Michelle Mungall, on behalf of BC’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena. “The new, cleaner ferry will move more people more efficiently, improving community connections and local economies.”
The new ferry will operate in tandem with the 80-vehicle, 250-passenger Osprey 2000 during the busy summer months.
The Kootenay Lake Ferry Service Improvements project is funded in part by the Canadian Government and the BC Government.
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