BC Ferries’ new hybrid electric ships are expected to move to Point Hope Maritime starting Friday, January 24. One of the ferries is destined for the Texada Island-Powell River route, replacing the North Island Princess.
The ferries arrived at the Breakwater District at Ogden Point on a semisubmersible transport ship on January 18 and spent several days there while preparations were made to unload and deliver them to Point Hope Maritime. On Friday, the vessels will be unloaded from the transport ship, Sun Rise. It will partially submerge and the two island-class ships will be floated off and maneuvered by tugs to Point Hope Maritime.
Point Hope Maritime is recommissioning the ships, as is required following the transport. This work includes starting up all of the systems and final inspections. After this is complete, BC Ferries will take ownership of the two ships. They will then be christened before the company moves on to crew training, ship familiarization and dock fits.
The island-class ferries are battery equipped and designed for future full electric operation. The ships are fitted with hybrid technology that bridges the gap until shore charging infrastructure and funding becomes available in BC. From the exterior details to the engines, the design of the new vessels reduces underwater radiated noise, lowers emissions and improves customer service.
BC Ferries will welcome the ships into service on the Powell River-Texada Island and Port McNeill-Alert Bay-Sointula routes by mid-2020.