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Standardisation leads to repeat orders

Four new vessels are set to provide inter-island ferry services between Vancouver and Vancouver Island. The diesel-electric hybrid ferries are Damen Road Ferries 8117 E3, also known as "Island Class" vessels and follow two such vessels ordered by B C Ferries from Damen back in 2017.

BC Ferries is standardising its fleet, with a strong focus on interoperability and commonality of equipment and was keen to ensure commonality with the initial two vessels (the first of series of the Island Class). Standardisation enables BC Ferries to place the vessels on alternative routes should the need arise and will ensure rapid crew familiarisation with all vessels.

As well its experience with the initial vessel order, Damen specialises in the standardisation of vessels. The practice, promoted by Damen Group as the Damen Standard, guarantees fast delivery of proven technology.

Damen was awarded the order following a competitive tender process that began around a year ago. Damen sales manager Leo Postma explains, “The fact that Damen had designed the original two island class ferries for BC Ferries, positioned us well to start building very quickly. Also, having very nearly completed the construction of the first order at the time of the award of contract, we had personnel ready and experienced in the building of this type of ferry.”

The Damen Road Ferry 8117 E3 is 81 metres in length with the capacity to carry 300 passengers and crew as well as a minimum of 47 cars. The vessels’ hybrid fuel arrangement assists BC Ferries in its goal of improving environmental performance and, with the plan of evolving to full electric in the future, reduced operations costs.

The first two vessels are being transported aboard a semi-submersible heavy-lift vessel from Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania and are due to arrive in Canada at the end of December.

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