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Ontario awards ferry contract to European shipyard

2017-11-07

McKeil Marine's Evans Spirit  won the International Bulk Journal's 2016 Ship of the Year Award during the IBJ's Salute to Excellence in the Maritime Bulk Industry gala awards ceremony in London, UK on November 21.
"It's a fantastic way to closeout our 60th anniversary year: having a vessel named after our founder, Evans McKeil, win this prestigious international award," said Steve Fletcher, President and CEO of McKeil Marine.
Acquired by McKeil in 2015, the Evans Spirit is a cargo ship with the shallow draught characters of a tug and barge; however, compared to a tug-and-barge unit, she can transport approximately 40 per cent more cargo about 50 per cent faster on a very similar amount of fuel.  She is in service throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
Evans Spirit was shortlisted for 2016 Ship of the Year competing with three other vessels: CS Bright, Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan;  Damen Shipyards, Netherlands; and MN Baroque, Swiss Marine, Switzerland. The award is presented to the owner, operator or builder of an outstanding individual bulk ship. Judged on operational efficiency, design innovation, safety and environmental protection, the Evans Spirit was selected as winner. (Photo Paul Beesley).

The Government of Ontario and Dutch-based Damen Shipyards Group have signed a contract for the design, construction and delivery for two "road" ferries to operate in the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes.  The contract is valued at C$61 million. Deliveries are scheduled for 2019-2020 from the group's Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania.

The ferries will be a 68-metre Damen Road Ferry 6819 and a 98-metre Damen Road Ferry 9819. Although one vessel is 30 metres longer than the other they will share many design features and equipment specifications. Both will also be hybrid-ready, enabling them to be fitted with batteries when required. Both vessels are being designed in-house by Damen and will be fully customised for the local infrastructure.

The ferries will be based in Kingston and Loyalist Township, Ontario, at the north-eastern end of Lake Ontario. The new ferries will be significantly larger than the existing vessels and will create more economic benefits - helping more people, vehicles and goods travel to and from the islands The new ferries are expected to make crossings faster for the one million passengers and 500,000 vehicles which travel annually between Wolfe Island and Kingston, and the 270,000 passengers and 130,000 vehicles which travel to and from Amherst Island each year.

Leo Postma, Damen Sales Manager, commented in early November after the signing ceremony:  "This new contract is a continuation of successful sales into Canada by Damen, and the two new ships will take the number of Damen ferries operating in the country up to eight, along with other Damen workboats. More are also currently under construction."

Representing Steven Del Duca, Ontario Minister of Transportation, at the signing ceremony was Sophie Kiwala, MPP for Kingston and the Islands (per photo), who stated: "The increased level of service will facilitate a more efficient flow of goods, services and people, including an improved access to emergency services for residents when necessary." (Photo Ontario Ministry of Transportation)


 
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