Commission Releases Decision on Major Capital Expenditure Application

Decision Made on BC Ferries’ Proposal to Acquire New Intermediate Class Vessels
July 19, 2013

Pursuant to section 55 of the Coastal Ferry Act, the commissioner is releasing his decision on a recent application from BC Ferries that seeks the commissioner’s approval of a major capital expenditure  to acquire  three new intermediate class vessels for routes 9 and 17 (Tsawwassen-Southern Gulf Islands and Powell River-Comox / Little River, respectively).

The three new diesel or LNG-fuelled vessels will replace the Queen of Nanaimo and the Queen of Burnaby which are near the end of their economic lives and due to be retired in 2017.

Based upon his review of BC Ferries’ application, as well as the opinions of his consultants and comments received from the public,, the commissioner approves BC Ferries’ proposed major capital expenditure  subject to the following conditions:

  1. the commissioner being satisfied that a fuel efficiency target is included in the technical specifications for the proposed new vessels;
  2. the concerns of ferry users regarding the open deck design have been taken into account in the technical specifications for the proposed new vessels;
  3. the actual design is as generally described in the Application and does not exceed the amount approved in the confidential order released to BC Ferries;
  4. a contingency plan is in place to mitigate any delays in delivering the new vessels beyond its scheduled launch date.

In the event BC Ferries intends to select diesel-fuelled vessels at the conclusion of its procurement process, it must seek the commissioner’s final approval and submit a final comparison of life cycle costs for the lowest cost diesel-fuelled and LNG-fuelled options for the new vessels.

Click here for Commission Order 13-01 outlining the commissioner’s decision and reasons for his approval.

Click here for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s report to the commissioner on its review of BC Ferries’ application.