The vessel will transit to the company’s fleet maintenance unit in Richmond, before departing to Remontowa Ship Repair Yard S.A. of Gdansk, Poland, to complete the mid-life upgrade. Whilst at the fleet maintenance unit, a number of preparations will be carried out. These will include the installation of a wave break on the main car deck forward section, marine pilot access arrangements and voyage logistical provisions. In addition to this, safety inspections will be carried out, and vessel equipment not required during the transit or at the shipyard will be de-stored. BC Ferries claims that the transit should take approximately 42 days, depending on the weather.
Last year, the company awarded a contract to Remontowa Ship Repair Yard S.A. to conduct the Spirit Class mid-life upgrades. These include the conversion of both vessels to dual-fuel, allowing them to operate on either LNG or ultra-low sulfur marine diesel.
Mark Wilson, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Engineering, said: “Last fiscal year, we spent approximately $100.2 million on diesel fuel of which the two Spirit Class vessels consumed approximately 15.5%.
“LNG costs significantly less than marine diesel. The conversion of the two largest ships in the fleet along with the three new dual-fuel Salish Class vessels that all entered service this year will go a long way to help both our environmental footprint and with fare affordability for our customers.”
As well as the conversion to LNG, the vessel’s passenger areas will also be upgraded. This will include new carpeting, refurbished washrooms, an expanded gift shop, and an additional washroom on Deck 5, as well as a new coffee bar on Deck 6. Upgrades to the passenger elevators include renewal of mechanical and electrical drive components, emergency communication system and electrical and control systems.
As part of the upgrade, the navigation equipment and air conditioning equipment will also be renewed, as will the propulsion equipment components, including: rudders; steering system; bow thrusters; propeller blades; and LED lighting.
The vessel will be the first ship to undergo its mid-life upgrade and conversion. The upgrade will be completed from Autumn 2017 through the Spring of next year. The Spirit of Vancouver Island will follow, commencing in the Autumn of 2018 through the spring of 2019. This schedule will allow both vessels to be back in operation during the summer months, when traffic is at its highest.
Read the article online at: https://www.lngindustry.com/small-scale-lng/08092017/spirit-of-british-columbia-to-be-converted-to-lng/