The Spirit of British Columbia, one of BC Ferries’ two largest vessels, is due to return to service on the Metro Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Victoria (Swartz Bay) route, following the completion of a mid-life upgrade. The Spirit of Vancouver Island will undergo a mid-life upgrade from fall 2018 to spring 2019.
The vessel is the first of two vessels to be converted to operate on natural gas, which is much cleaner for the environment than marine diesel. BC Ferries expects to reduce CO2 emissions by 12 500 t annually, the equivalent of taking approximately 2500 vehicles off the road per year by using natural gas to fuel the two Spirit Class vessels. Simultaneously fuel costs will be reduced by millions when both ships are in service operating on natural gas.
“The Spirit of British Columbia returns to service with clean technology that reduces both our environmental footprint and cost of operations,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President and CEO. “The two Spirit Class vessels consume approximately 16% of our fuel annually. The conversion of our two largest ships in the fleet, along with the introduction of our three new natural gas-fuelled Salish Class vessels last year, goes a long way to improving the sustainability of our operations and affordability for ferry users.”
Other upgrades include the renewal of navigation equipment, propulsion equipment components including gearboxes, rudders, steering system, bow thrusters, propeller blades, LED lighting, more efficient air conditioning equipment to reduce energy consumption, and four marine evacuation systems.
“Natural gas is the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel and using LNG in deep-sea ships provides an opportunity to significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality on a global scale,” said Roger Dall’Antonia, president and CEO of FortisBC. “In collaboration with BC Ferries, we developed a first-in-the-world proprietary tanker truck technology to deliver fuel while on board the vessel. Innovative solutions like this help make it easier for transportation customers to make the switch to LNG.” FortisBC has been performing approximately a dozen or so onboard marine bunkering per week since December 2016, and will shortly be reaching a milestone of 500 performed.
Read the article online at: https://www.lngindustry.com/liquid-natural-gas/06062018/bc-ferries-vessel-returns-to-service-after-lng-upgrade/