Left to right: Mark Gerretsen, MP for Kingston and the Islands; Leo Postma, Sales Manager, Damen Shipyards Gorinchem; Sophie Kiwala, Member of Provincial Parliament; Mike Bossio, MP of Hastings-Lennox and Addington (Photo: Damen)
The Government of Ontario has accepted Damen’s proposal to build two ferries with full electric propulsion.
Damen is building a 68-meter Road Ferry 6819 and a 98-meter Road Ferry 9819 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. 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 Product Director Ferries Henk Grunstra said, “It’s good to see the local authority take this cutting-edge and ambitious decision. This is a perfect fit to our ongoing ambition to electrify public transport all over the globe.”
Damen Sales Manager Leo Postma said, “This is a solution that looks towards the future of waterborne public transportation. It offers a reliable, state-of-the-art system that will significantly reduce emissions.”
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.