More details on how BC's German Ferries May Be Lemons
Heavy fuel use, noise, vibration and air-sucking propellers said to be problems.
So much for the Campbell Liberals' green agenda...
On Dec. 13, 2007, the first of three Super C-class vessels built for $542 million in Germany arrived in B.C. to much fanfare. Less than 10 months later, B.C. Ferries announced the Coastal Renaissance would be spending more days tied up at the terminal than it would carrying passengers. The publicly owned company that runs the ferries has yet to fully explain why.
Back when the Coastal Renaissance arrived, B.C. Ferries' chief operating officer Mike Corrigan said the ship's diesel-electric propulsion system was 30 per cent more efficient than the engines on older ferries. Once all three of the new vessels were operating, he said, the ferry company would save about $5 million worth of fuel each year.
But in early October, B.C. Ferries' cost savings measures included replacing the Coastal Renaissance four days a week with the 32-year-old Queen of Cowichan. The two vessels carry about the same loads, but according to the watchdog citizens' group Save Our Ferries, the Super C-class vessel requires almost 20 percent more fuel to cross the Strait of Georgia.
The Tyee has followed up with two updates to this story today:
- The first outlines how BC Ferries drove 18 fully loaded gravel trucks on the new ferry to lower the ship in the water enough to test the propellor; and
- the second uncovers a German academic paper that outlines how BC Ferries design requirements for the new German-built ferry of the German ship builders were "hard to fulfill" and tested with numerical rather than physical models.
And with this update on November 25 on B.C. Ferries fuel records.
By the way, Global BC finally caught up with this story on November 25 -- a full week after it was first reported by The Tyee and posted here at NowPublic.