October 24, 2011 - Press releases
Announcement of the design and technological choices of the new Matane–Baie-Comeau–Godbout ferry.
Matane, October 24, 2011 – Norman MacMillan, Minister for Transport and responsible for the Outaouais region, and Georges Farrah, President and Chief Executive Officer of la Société des traversiers du Québec, unveiled the design and successful technology choices this morning in Matane for the construction of a new ship for the Matane–Baie-Comeau–Godbout ferry, in the presence of Patrick Cabana,Vice President, Gas Supply, Procurement and Regulatory Affairs at Gaz Métro.
The new, modern ferry will be powered by a new energy source in liquefied natural gas, rather than diesel. “Today’s announcement is part of the Québec Government’s desire to encourage sustainable development and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Liquefied natural gas, a cleaner energy form, will subsequently limit the ferry’s ecological footprint. The ministère des Transports is proud to invest in this innovative technology, but also to offer quality service that meets passenger needs,’’ Mr. MacMillan said.
Mr. Farrah specified that the new ship will improve ferry service as a whole. ‘’Some aspects of the N.M. Camille-Marcoux needed to be rethought. With a capacity of 600 passengers and 120 automobiles, the ferry was often full, especially with vehicles. The new ferry, which will have a capacity of 800 passengers and 180 automobiles, will be much roomier and better outfitted. Its wider and larger loading lanes will be better suited to all vehicle types. Crossing the St-Lawrence River will allow passengers to experience some of their more enjoyable moments by having access to varied facilities. "A bistro, a cafeteria, a shop, a game-room, television, Internet access, and relaxation lounges will be designed with considerable attention to highlight the maritime panorama," explained M. Farrah.
Patrick Cabana welcomed the initiative of the Québec Government and the Société des traversiers to select a liquefied natural gas-operated ferry replacing marine diesel. "This initiative will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by close to 25%.’’ Gaz Métro Transportation Solution (GMTS), a subsidiary of Gaz Métro, will subsequently deliver cleaner, more economical fuel," he said.
"The ministère des Transports is aware of the importance of ensuring the movement of people and goods efficiently and safely in a sustainable manner." The Matane-Baie-Comeau-Godbout ferry provides year-round crossings between Gaspé and the North Shore, and represents an undeniable tourism asset for businesses in the communities and areas served by the ferry. "It plays a pivotal role in the economy and industrial communities of these two regions," Mr. MacMillan concluded.
The Matane–Baie-Comeau–Godbout ferry employs 115 people and makes 1600 crossings every year, thereby allowing 206,000 passengers and more than 116,000 automobiles to move from one shore to the other.
It should be remembered that the Government of Québec announced its financial participation in the Blue Road pilot project on October 17. This pilot is a demonstration project of the technological and economic use of liquefied natural gas as alternative fuel for the heavy transportation sector. The implementation of this project responds to the sustainable development objectives of the 2009-2014 Québec Policy on Road Freight Transport, and of the Programme d'aide gouvernementale à l'amélioration de l'efficacité énergétique dans le transport routier, ferroviaire et maritime of the ministère des Transports, which provides financial assistance for the acquisition of alternative fuel-operating vehicles.
Cabinet du ministre délégué aux Transports
Société des traversiers du Québec
Director, Marketing ad Communications
(418) 643-2019, ext. 302
Media and Public Relations Advisor