Commissioner Releases Decision on Major Capital Expenditure Application for a Cable Ferry

February 20, 2014
Proposed Cable Ferry Expenditure Approved With Conditions

Pursuant to section 55 of the Coastal Ferry Act, the commissioner has released his decision on a recent application from BC Ferries that seeks the commissioner’s approval of a major capital expenditure for a new cable ferry and associated infrastructure to operate on Route 21 (Buckley Bay-Denman Island).

Based upon his review of BC Ferries’ application, as well as the opinions of his consultants and comments received from the public, the commissioner approves BC Ferries’ proposed major capital expenditure for a cable ferry subject to the following conditions:

  1. The maximum amount of the major capital expenditure for the cable ferry and associated infrastructure is set at the amount stated in the Application which will be confirmed by a separate confidential order to BC Ferries. The maximum amount will remain confidential until completion of the procurement process;
  2. BC Ferries must advise the commissioner of the actual crewing levels, as finally determined, and confirm that the projected life cycle cost savings will be achieved. If the projected life cycle cost savings are less than the projected savings in the Application the commissioner may not allow the increase in operating costs in future price cap determinations;
  3. BC Ferries must satisfy the commissioner that standard operating procedures will be developed and refined as operational experience is gained, to include:
    1. a rigorous inspection, testing and replacement protocol of the cable be put in place with an inspection frequency commensurate with loads experienced at site, and
    2. operating limits and protocols based on wave conditions that avoid resonant roll by actual measurements of wind speed, wave period and height;
  4. Prior deployment of the cable ferry, BC Ferries must satisfy the commissioner that operational reliability will be assured by:
    1. enabling a secondary means of recovering vessel from a propulsion system breakdown within a reasonable period of time, and
    2. maintaining inventory, in the province, of non-redundant parts;
  5. At least one vessel on the minor routes will be retired so that the cable ferry does not result in a net increase in the overall size of the fleet.

Click here for Commission Order 14-01 outlining the commissioner’s decision and review.

Click here for the Commission’s news release announcing its decision and review.