*With files from Ludvig Drevfjall*

NELSON. B.C – The MV Balfour is retiring late 2022 when a new, electric ready ferry will replace the aging vessel. Now, three companies have been shortlisted to construct the new ferry.

According to a news release from the provincial government, the new ferry will have twice the capacity of MV Balfour which was plagued by mechanical issues all summer, resulting in massive hold-ups in the busy summer season.

Following a request for qualifications, three B.C. firms have been shortlisted for the project to design and build the new ferry. The firms include:

* Allied Shipbuilders Ltd. of North Vancouver

* Waterbridge Steel Inc. of Nakusp

* Western Pacific Marine Ltd. of Vancouver

With a successful proposal, work on the new ferry is expected to begin in 2020, and will be ready for service by the end of 2022. The new vessel will replace the MV Balfour, which will be retired from service.

The proposed new vessel will be able to accommodate between 50 and 60 vehicles. It will be used in tandem with the larger MV Osprey to significantly decrease sailing waits during the busy summer season.