Shipbuilding 30-year-old, 6,000-passenger Barberi Class ferries and a preliminary design investigation is already underway.
WSF READIES FOR LNG, TOO Just as Staten Island Ferry is exploring the possibility of burning LNG, so, too, is Washington State Ferries (WSF). WSF has contracted DNV to complete a safety and security plan, risk assessment, and operational manual for converting to LNG. On May 22, the ferry operator met with the U.S. Coast Guard to examine the draft safety, security and operational assessment for LNG-fueled ferries. In 2011, WSF received conceptual approval from the USCG to retrofit the propulsion system with new engines on the six Issaquah Class ferries to burn LNG as fuel. WSF will receive initial comments from USCG Sector Seattle and a final assessment will be sent to USCG headquarters for review later this year. WSF is currently evaluating responses to its Request for Proposals to retrofit the six ferries. Under the RFP, the shipyard would have to purchase and install the equipment and get the required approvals to allow the vessel to obtain a COI from the U.S. Coast Guard for operation with LNG as a fuel.
SWITCHING TO HYBRID
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32 MARINE LOG June 2013
Meanwhile, WSF is also assessing bids for the conversion of the Super Class ferry M/V Hyak to hybrid propulsion. Built 46 years ago, the Hyak is due for a midlife propulsion upgrade so that it can remain in service until 2031. The switch from diesel-electric to hybrid propulsion is expected to cut fuel usage by 20 percent, translating into a fuel savings of $21.5 million over the remaining life in the vessel. Under the conversion, WSF would replace the four existing direct current (DC) diesel generators in the Hyak with four new alternating current (AC) diesel generators, as well as replacing the two main DC propulsion motors. Two new ship’s service generators and a new ship’s service switchboard will be installed. A power management system and battery bank will also be installed to enable the most efficient use of power. And as if it doesn’t have enough going on, WSF is currently in the process of replacing its Evergreen Class ferries. WSF has a contract with Vigor Industrial’s US Fab facility to design and construct up to four 144-car Olympic Class ferries. Two ferries, the Samish and Tokitae, are currently under construction, with deliveries set for the spring of 2014 and early 2015, respectively. Total cost for the two ferries is budgeted at $279.4 million. ■