Seaspan Ferries Corporation announced yesterday that Sedef Shipyard of Istanbul, Turkey has been awarded the contract for the construction of two new dual-fueled (diesel and liquefied natural gas) ferries.

The 148.9 m ferries, both expected to be in operation by late 2016, will accommodate up to 59 trailers. Construction is scheduled to start in early 2015.

“Seaspan is pleased to partner with Sedef Shipyard to build two new state-of-the-art ferries,” said Steve Roth, vice president, Seaspan Ferries Corporation. “Today’s announcement demonstrates a clear commitment to our drop-trailer customers through the modernization of an aging fleet.”

“One of Seaspan’s Core Values is care for the environment and we are committed to ensuring the conservation of Canadian oceans and waterways,” said Roth. “These new, technologically advanced ferries will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions significantly compared to current alternatives while ensuring the highest level of efficiency, performance and reliability.”

SFC’s contract award comes on the heels of an extensive and competitive procurement process that included more than 40 shipyards around the world, as well as a thorough analysis of Seaspan Shipyard’s capacity to construct these vessels at its new facility at Vancouver Shipyards.

“Our decision to have a non-Seaspan shipyard build our new ferries was not made lightly, but it was a simple decision based on capacity,” said Jonathan Whitworth, CEO, Seaspan.

“We are laser-focused on successfully delivering our multi-year, multi-billion dollar project to build vessels for the men and women of the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS). We have established a world-class shipbuilding and ship repair centre of excellence, and are working to returning B.C.’s shipbuilding industry to its once thriving roots, as evidenced by our recently completed state-of-the-art facility at Vancouver Shipyards. For the next five to seven years, our new vessel building capacity will be solely dedicated to the NSPS Non-Combat vessels.”

Sedef Shipyard is world renowned for its shipbuilding capability and expertise, having built more than 175 vessels since it was first founded in 1975. Sedef is owned by Turkon Holdings, which provides marine transportation and shipbuilding services, along with marinas, hotels and other tourism ventures.

“We feel very honoured to be chosen as Seaspan’s shipbuilding partner and we will take great pride in building their new ferries,” said Orkun Kalkavan, boardmember of Sedef Shipyard. “The technical side of the project is also a matter of pride due to the dual fuel-LNG hybrid particulars of the vessels, which we feel demonstrate our shipyard’s commitment to building sophisticated and environmentally friendly vessels.”