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BREAKING: FERRY FIRMS JOIN FORCES TO ACQUIRE 22 NEW SHIPS IN MASSIVE FERRY TENDER

Ferry services are heavily subsidised by the government, while a new scheme will support ferry companies acquiring brand new “greener” vessels

Outline of the new 45-seat ferry for Central-Yung Shue Wan, according to tender documents seen by Transit Jam

Sun Ferry and HKKF, which between them operate all six outlying island ferry routes, are seeking design and construction quotes for 22 new ferries for between 300 and 1,000 passengers each, in a massive new tender covered by the government’s new ferry subsidy scheme.

The two firms published a 1600-page tender invitation, calling for one ferry for 300 passengers, three ferries for 400 passengers, seven ferries for 450 passengers, nine ferries for 500 passengers, and two ferries for 1,000 passengers.

Delivery will start towards the end of 2023 and be complete by mid-2025.

The 300-seat and 1,000-seat vessels, both for Sun Ferry, will be diesel-electric. Four of the vessels, two for each of Sun Ferry and HKKF, will be hybrid power, where the diesel will take over for the high-speed portion of the outlying island journey. Sixteen of the vessels will be purely diesel-powered.

The tender covers both design and construction of the new ships and says the ships will be used on the six major outlying ferry routes.

Interested parties have until 12 noon on 30 December 2021 to make their bids.

The acquisition of these new vessels would cover almost half of the planned 47 new vessels for Hong Kong under the Vessel Subsidy Scheme (VSS) announced in 2019.

According to the VSS, designated outlying island ferry operators “shall introduce greener vessels to replace the fleets within 10 years”.

Earlier this year, Sun Ferry said it would advance the introduction of “eco-vessels with greener energy and newer facilities to replace our fleet, to bring the more pleasant sea journey to our passengers as well as contributing to the green transport development in Hong Kong.”

Sun Ferry’s new 1,000-seater ferry, according to tender documents seen by Transit Jam

Details of the vessels to be subsidised by the government’s VSS scheme. Despite being labelled an “eco” scheme, around three-quarters of thew new ferries will be diesel powered

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