Gulf Island Fabrication Inc. (GIFI) is building a new 293'x66'x16', 495-passenger, 70-vehicle, double-ended ferry for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The Shearer Group Inc., Houston, designed the hybrid propulsion ferry that will operate between Galveston, Texas, and Bolivar Island, Texas.

The vessel will be built at GIFI’s Jennings, La., facility, with delivery is scheduled for late 2021.

“I am pleased to have been selected to build this ferry for the Texas Department of Transportation," Kirk Meche, Gulf Island’s president and CEO, said in a statement announcing the contract award. “This award is another example of our commitment to diversify outside of our traditional oil and gas markets to provide opportunities for our employees and returns for our shareholders.”

The diesel-electric (with energy storage) ferry will feature a Voith Schneider propulsion system.

“Gulf Island Shipyards certainly looks forward to the opportunity of working with both the TSGI staff and the TxDOT construction team in building this state of the art and highly innovative ABS-classed ferry,” added Mike Jannise, the shipyard’s sales and business development manager.