Mainly, according to Damen's press release, BC Ferries is upgrading its fleet, and will see a number of new vessels operating in the province of British Colombia, on Canada’s Pacific coastline.
The twin Damen Road Ferry 8117E3 will serve the Northern Gulf Islands off the coast of Vancouver, replacing vessels that are now over fifty years old.
Paul Catsburg, director of the vessel replacement programme at BC Ferries commented
This class of vessels is very important for BC Ferries as it represents our newest vessel type, introducing a state-of-the-art, diesel-electric, hybrid propulsion system. The ships’ hybrid design is important for two main reasons; firstly to improve environmental stewardship and secondly to reduce operating costs by evolving to full electric propulsion.
He continued congratulating all those who participated in constructing the second hull and recognised the efforts that the management and workers of Damen Galati had made to reach this important milestone.
Concluding, the construction of two identical vessels will also deliver capital and operating cost savings and additional efficiencies. After-sales warranty support will be provided by Point Hope Shipyards in Victoria, British Columbia in an agreement with Damen.