Vancouver-based ferry operator Seaspan Ferries has taken delivery of the first of two 6,750 dwt LNG-battery hybrid cargo ferries to be delivered in the next 12 months.

The Seaspan Swift, which was built by Sedef Shipbuilding, in Tuzia and Istanbul, Turkey, and has been classified by Bureau Veritas, is the first LNG-battery hybrid cargo ferry in North America. It features two dual-fuel engines by Wärtsilä and a Corvus lithium-ion energy storage system (ESS), which operates as spinning reserve and provides propulsion power for low-speed maneuvers.

The twin 9L34DF LNG-diesel dual-fuel engines are coupled to constant-speed generators with Wärtsilä LNGPac fuel systems. The combination produces 9,000kW at 750rpm of power installed with dual-fuel engines that utilize diesel as the primary source of ignition and gas as a second fuel source for combustion. The engines can run either on diesel only, or through a combination of diesel and natural gas.

The cargo ferry will be joined by a sister ship, Seaspan Reliant, in early 2017, after which the operator will order a further three ferries, according to Seaspan CEO Jonathan Whitworth. The vessels, designed by Vard Marine, will have capacity for 59 truck trailers compared with the 30-40 trailer capacity of Seaspan’s existing seven vessels, which have been in service for an average of 36 years.

Seaspan Ferries operates cargo-only services between Vancouver Island and the British Columbian mainland, carrying up to 800 trailers a day. The company delivers more than 50% of all products consumed on the island.

“Integrating the proven Corvus ESS technology into our new LNG-battery vessels will help us achieve our goal of minimizing the environmental impact of our operations, while reducing fuel consumption and operating costs,” said Whitworth. “Corvus’s experience, industry leadership and safety record made it an easy decision to utilize their battery systems.”