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Vessel Replacement Projects are Underway at BC Ferries

BC Ferries is addressing its ageing fleet of vessels by issuing requests for shipbuilders to prepare expressions of interest for the building of five new boats.

There are 17 different classes of boats at BC Ferries and of the five new boats, four Island Class and one Salish Class vessel will be built to replace the older boats.

The huge corporation operates vessels for 45 years before retiring them from service and VP of Strategy and Community Engagement Mark Wilson says three ships are being retired in short order.

The transportation giant mortgages these hugely expensive boats over the 45-year life of the vessel.

The first phase of the replacement project involves shipbuilders submitting expressions of interest to the transportation giant, followed by a request for pre-qualification of builders and finally, companies submit requests for proposal to BC Ferries.

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Wilson says these vessels can be BC-built, but the industry will dictate that.

The Salish Class boats are the second smallest in the fleet and hold six hundred passengers and 138 vehicles.

Island Class boats are the smallest, with a capacity of 450 passengers and 47 vehicles.

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