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BC Ferries vessel returns to service after LNG conversion

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LNG Industry,

Just in time for Earth Day, the Spirit of Vancouver Island returned to service following its mid-life upgrade, with the ability to now operate on LNG. The ship is the second Spirit Class vessel in BC Ferries’ fleet to complete the conversion from diesel to clean LNG.

“With both Spirit Class vessels now operating on LNG, BC Ferries expects to reduce CO2 emissions by 12 500 tpy, or the equivalent of removing 2500 cars from the road every year,” according to Mark Collins, President and CEO of BC Ferries. “Operating these vessels on natural gas is both environmentally sound and good for affordable travel. We expect to reduce fuel costs by millions of dollars by running these vessels on LNG.”

The Spirit of Vancouver Island services the Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Victoria (Swartz Bay) route and completed the conversion this past winter and spring. Last summer, its sister ship, The Spirit of British Columbia, successfully completed the same mid-life upgrade.

“BC Ferries is reducing our environmental footprint,” Collins says. “We are safeguarding the environment, while finding new ways to improve the sustainability of our operations.”

Highlights of the Spirit of Vancouver Island’s extensive upgrade and conversion to clean technology include safety, mechanical, environmental, and customer service improvements:

  • Conversion to run on LNG.
  • Installation of more efficient air conditioning equipment to reduce energy consumption.
  • Upgrades to the passenger area with new carpeting and an additional washroom.
  • Expansion of Passages store and addition of the new Arbutus Coffee Bar.
  • Renewal of propulsion equipment components including rudders, steering system, bow thrusters, propellers and gearboxes.
  • New machinery control system, navigation system, internal communication system and safety and evacuation systems.

The mid-life upgrade prepares the vessel for another 25 years of safe, reliable service. The work was completed at Remontowa Ship Repair Yard S.A. in Gdansk, Poland. The Spirit of Vancouver Island has been servicing the Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Victoria (Swartz Bay) run, the busiest route in the fleet, since 1993.

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