Friday, July 19, 2024
Maritime Propulsion

July 9, 2024

AF Theriault, EV Maritime Team Up in Bid to Build Electric Ferries for Nova Scotia

(Image: AF Theriault & Son)

Canadian shipbuilder AF Theriault & Son Ltd. announced it is teaming up with New-Zealand-based electric ferry design and technology company EV Maritime in hopes of securing a contract to build a series of electric ferries serving the community of Bedford, Nova Scotia.

This partnership has been formed in relation to Halifax Regional Municipality’s (HRM) upcoming procurement for five new ferries for scheduled delivery in the 2027-2028 fiscal year. The entire project is estimated at CAD$258.7 million and will include ferries, terminals and infrastructure.

All-electric propulsion, which slashes vessel emissions, noise and vibration, has been taking off in the ferry industry as the operational profile for these vessels—often including frequent, repeated and relatively short trips and docking times—is particularly well suited for electrification.

AF Theriault said it aims to manufacture and deliver up to five vessels, while EV Maritime will supply clean-tech design, technology and systems integration expertise, including integrated electrical and control systems.

“Having built the last five ferries for Halifax, we are committed to supporting the expansion of Halifax’s ferry service,” said Gilles Theriault, president of AF Theriault. “We’re thrilled to be bringing EV Maritime on board as partner as we start building fully electric ferries that will deliver long-term environmental and regional economic benefits, while also increasing public transport capability in the province.”

Theriault said a visit to New Zealand was “instrumental in solidifying this partnership”. He explained, “The opportunity to meet EV Maritime’s design and technical teams, key stakeholders in the transport, marine and international trade sectors along with seeing first-hand the two electric ferries commissioned by Auckland Transport which are nearing completion, underpins our confidence in delivering on our project and shared commitment to electric ferry technology.”

“This represents an important milestone for both our companies,” said Michael Eaglen, CEO of EV Maritime. “AF Theriault is a highly respected shipyard with over 80 years of history. They are the leading provider of ferries in their region and a mainstay of the rural Nova Scotia economy. Their ability to deliver complex, reliable vessels of this size is second to none and their existing background in marine renewable energy proves their commitment to innovation.

“Our technology transfer business model is an integral component of this partnership. With two carbon composite battery electric fast ferries under construction at Auckland shipyard McMullen & Wing, we have built a robust knowledge-based framework which will see our team applying their 

“EV Maritime’s long-term mission is to decarbonize the harbor cities of the world,” Eaglen added. “By partnering with local shipyards, we can enable them to become leaders in electric boat construction. We look forward to helping Halifax become a global exemplar for sustainable marine transportation and supporting AF Theriault to become a center of excellence to accelerate Canada’s wider adoption of sustainable maritime technology.”