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Damen to build two fully electric ferries for Ontario

Mar 20, 2018 11:08 AM

The Great Lakes vessels will be the first of their type in Canada

The following is text of a news release from Damen Shipyards Group:

(GORINCHEM, Netherlands) — Damen has announced that the government of Ontario has accepted its proposal to build two ferries with full electric propulsion. Damen is building a Road Ferry 6819 and a Road Ferry 9819 (223 feet and 321 feet, respectively) to operate in the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes. The vessels will be the first fully electric, non-cable vessels in Canada.

As part of the tender process for the contract to build the ferries, Damen was required to identify future innovations and green technologies for sustainable power solutions. Following careful consideration of the technology, the government of Ontario has accepted Damen’s electrification proposal. It is estimated that electrification of the two ferries, one servicing Kingston and Wolfe Island and the other Millhaven and Amherst Island (Loyalist Township), will reduce emissions by the equivalent of 7 million kg carbon dioxide per year.

Investing in green technology is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity at a time of rapid economic change. Kathryn McGarry, minister of transportation, said, “This is great news for residents and commuters in this region, knowing they will soon be able to ride a ferry that is completely powered by electricity. Investing in innovative green technology is helping Ontario become a leader in North America for sustainable transportation and our government is committed to improving service, while simultaneously reducing our carbon footprint.”

Damen has tailored the design to ensure that the performance profile of the ferries is not affected by electrification. Their capacity to transport 300 passengers and 42 cars (6819 – Amherst Island Ferry) and 399 passengers and 75 cars (9819 – Wolfe Island Ferry) at speeds up to 12 knots remains the same as with conventional propulsion.

Damen’s scope of work in the project includes the installation of an automated mooring system, as well as charging system via which the vessels will be automatically connected to the shore power system for recharging the batteries.

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