BC Ferries says a Polish shipyard has won the contract to build three new intermediate-class ferries capable of operating with liquefied natural gas or diesel.
It says Remontowa Shipbuilding of Poland will receive $165 million to build the ships, with a contract that includes completion, performance and delivery guarantees.
BC Ferries says the total budget for the project is $252 million, which includes financing and project management costs, and covers $51 million for Canadian taxes and federal import duties.
The vessels will replace the 49-year-old Queen of Burnaby, which sails between Comox and Powell River, and the 50-year-old Queen of Nanaimo, which serves the Tsawwassen and Southern Gulf Islands route. The third ferry will also serve the Gulf Islands on a seasonal and relief basis.
BC Ferries says the new 105-metre vessels will accommodate 145 vehicles and 600 passengers.
The former Crown agency says Seaspan, which has a shipyard in Vancouver, was the only Canadian company among the five firms shortlisted and invited to participate in the bidding process but that it withdrew, citing prior commitments.