BC Ferries is in the market for five new vessels expected to service major routes between Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver five years from now.
The company has issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI) to shipyards and consortiums to build five boats to replace four existing vessels, and add another to the fleet to address anticipated increases in vehicle and passenger traffic.
BC Ferries expects the new vessels to be in service in 2023 and will replace the Queen of Alberni, Queen of New Westminster, Queen of Cowichan and Queen of Coquitlam.
The corporation says the RFEOI is the first step in the procurement process of new ships and is encouraging local and national companies to bid on the projects, which is also open to international shipyards.
BC Ferries’ Vice President of Strategy and Community Engagement Mark Wilson said in a release the vessels will be quieter and have a lighter ecological footprint.
“We are building the low carbon coastal ferry system that will serve B.C. for the middle half of this century,” Wilson stated.
“These vessels will provide additional capacity on our routes while continuing our ambition to be leaders in environmental stewardship.”
BC Ferries has to get approval from the BC Ferries Commissioner to purchase the new ships and says it will make its application by 2019.
If approved by the Commissioner, BC Ferries will then award a contract for the five new vessels by the end of next year.