4th hybrid BC Ferries vessel clears Panama Canal en route to Victoria

BC Ferries' fourth hybrid electric ship has reached a milestone in its journey from Romania to B.C.

The vessel, temporarily named Island 4, left Damen Shipyard Galati in Romania in early June on its lengthy voyage to Point Hope Maritime in Victoria.

On Tuesday, BC Ferries said the ship had just travelled through the Panama Canal, and it's estimated to arrive in Vic West by mid-August.

All Island Class BC Ferries vessels are designed for full electric operation. However, the Island Class ferries are currently being used as hybrid vessels until expanded shore charging equipment is available in B.C.

The ferries produce lower emissions compared to traditional diesel-powered vessels, and create less underwater noise, according to BC Ferries.

Two of BC Ferries' four Island Class ferries are currently in service, sailing between southern Gulf Island routes.

The next two hybrid vessels, the Island 3 and Island 4, will be officially named later this year and will enter service in 2022.

The Island 3 and 4 will both sail in the Campbell River – Quadra Island route, after they finish final inspections at Point Hope Maritime.

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