The first, fully-electric road ferries to sail in North America are on their way from Damen Shipyards Galati in the Netherlands to Ontario, Canada.
Ordered by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, the Amherst Islander II and Wolfe Islander IV, 68 and 98 metres in length respectively, represent a new generation of zero-emission large ferries.
The vessels departed the yard on 26 August to be loaded on the semi-submersible transport vessel Super Servant 4 and will arrive in Lake Ontario in mid-September.
Both of the open-deck vessels are equipped to be fully-electric, but also have twin diesel generators installed to allow hybrid and full diesel propulsion for maximum redundancy. Due to the harsh winters the ferries also feature 1B Ice class hulls and 1A Ice class azimuth thrusters, allowing them to be fully operational down to -25 degrees centigrade.
Ontario’s new ferries bring extra capacity and will make crossings faster as well as greener for the one million passengers and 500,000 vehicles which travel annually between Wolfe Island and Kingston, and the 270,000 passengers and 130,000 vehicles which travel to and from Amherst Island each year.
Rory Horner » Senior Lecturer, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester
Rory Horner has received funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Regional Studies Association (RSA), the British Academy and the National Science Foundation to support his research on India’s pharmaceutical industry. He is also a senior research associate in the Department of Geography, Environmental Management and Energy Studies at the University of Johannesburg.
The latest supply forecast for Covax – the programme for sharing COVID-19 vaccines around the world – suggests that accelerating vaccination in low-income countries looks unlikely. Covax estimates it will have distributed 1.425 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021, significantly less than the 2 billion doses it was aiming for earlier this year.
Only 280.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been given out through Covax as of September 15 2021. With some high-income countries rolling out boosters and vaccinating children before many low-income countries have even given their adults a first dose, vaccine inequality is showing no sign of disappearing.
That Covax has fallen short on its initial forecast for 2021 is not a surprise. The CEO of the Serum Institute of India, originally the largest intended supplier to the initiative, cast doubt on the 2 billion figure soon after its release, suggesting that reaching this milestone would take an additional six months.