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BC Ferries launches bidding process for four retired 60-year-old vessels

Proponents have a chance to pick apart pieces of BC Ferries’ history as the corporation opens the bidding process for four of its nearly 60-year-old vessels. Powell River Queen, Bowen Queen, and Mayne Queen and Queen of Burnaby are included in BC Ferries’ request for proposals (RFP), published on 28 May 2024.

“There’s limited use for them,” said Jeff Groot, the corporation’s executive director of communications. They have reached the point where they need to be dismantled and recycled, so BC Ferries has decided to pursue opportunities to dispose of them rather than sell them as ships.

“We’ve issued a request for proposals, and we’re looking for companies that will help us with a responsible approach to what we do with four of our vessels,” he said.

The ferries, all built in 1965, have reached or are “almost past their end of life.” So now’s the time to upgrade the fleet, he explains.

“We’ve got four new Island class vessels that are being built right now. We’re also going to be moving ahead with a number of major vessels in the coming years,” he said. “As we bring on those new ships, it means we have to responsible decisions about what we do…to make room for these new additions.” All four of the vessels up for sale were built in Victoria.

Powell River Queen, Bowen Queen, and Mayne Queen (Bowen class) each measure about 278ft long (85m) and were retired in 2022 or 2023. The larger Queen of Burnaby, meanwhile, was retired in 2017.The 426ft (129m) ferry was put up for auction in 2018, and a sale was agreed, but it fell through. It was noted that it leaked hydraulic oil and was full of hazardous materials.

In 2021 BC Ferries moved it to Union Bay, where locals voiced concerns, saying disassembling it there would be hazardous to the environmentally sensitive area. By 2022 it was moored in Richmond.

 “We’re looking for responses from companies in Canada and the United States,” added Groot. “Obviously, the West Coast would be easier for getting these ships up and down the coast, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

“We’re trying to hear back from companies so we understand who’s out there, who can do this in a cost-effective, safe way that meets all the applicable local laws and environmental standards, and minimizes the environmental impacts through the dismantling process.”

The RFP process closes on 23 June.

Proponents have a chance to pick apart pieces of BC Ferries’ history as the corporation opens the bidding process for four of its nearly 60-year-old vessels. Powell River Queen, Bowen Queen, and Mayne Queen and Queen of Burnaby are included in BC Ferries’ request for proposals (RFP), published on 28 May 2024.

“There’s limited use for them,” said Jeff Groot, the corporation’s executive director of communications. They have reached the point where they need to be dismantled and recycled, so BC Ferries has decided to pursue opportunities to dispose of them rather than sell them as ships.

“We’ve issued a request for proposals, and we’re looking for companies that will help us with a responsible approach to what we do with four of our vessels,” he said.

The ferries, all built in 1965, have reached or are “almost past their end of life.” So now’s the time to upgrade the fleet, he explains.

“We’ve got four new Island class vessels that are being built right now. We’re also going to be moving ahead with a number of major vessels in the coming years,” he said. “As we bring on those new ships, it means we have to responsible decisions about what we do…to make room for these new additions.” All four of the vessels up for sale were built in Victoria.

Powell River Queen, Bowen Queen, and Mayne Queen (Bowen class) each measure about 278ft long (85m) and were retired in 2022 or 2023. The larger Queen of Burnaby, meanwhile, was retired in 2017.The 426ft (129m) ferry was put up for auction in 2018, and a sale was agreed, but it fell through. It was noted that it leaked hydraulic oil and was full of hazardous materials.

In 2021 BC Ferries moved it to Union Bay, where locals voiced concerns, saying disassembling it there would be hazardous to the environmentally sensitive area. By 2022 it was moored in Richmond.

 “We’re looking for responses from companies in Canada and the United States,” added Groot. “Obviously, the West Coast would be easier for getting these ships up and down the coast, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

“We’re trying to hear back from companies so we understand who’s out there, who can do this in a cost-effective, safe way that meets all the applicable local laws and environmental standards, and minimizes the environmental impacts through the dismantling process.”

The RFP process closes on 23 June.

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