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BC Ferries shortlists shipyards for mid-life vessel upgrade

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LNG Industry,

BC Ferries has recently shortlisted three shipyards for the mid-life upgrades of its largest, Spirit Class vessels. One of the shortlisted shipyards is located in British Columbia (B.C.) – Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards. The upgrade will include conversion to dual-fuel so they can operate on LNG.

Three shipyards shortlisted

Over 20 national and international shipyards expressed interest in the initial stages of the procurement process. However, Seaspan’s Vancouver shipyards, Remontowa SA in Poland, and Fincantieri in Italy are the three shipyards that have been shortlisted from the five shipyards that responded to BC Ferries’ request for proposals process. Over the upcoming three to five months, BC Ferries will continue to negotiate with the three proponents to select the final choice. The company hopes to have decided its outcome and awarded a contract for the mid-life upgrades and conversions to the successful bidder by late 2015.

Originally, BC Ferries planned the mid-life upgrade (MLU) and LNG conversion for the Spirit of Vancouver Island to occur in the fall of 2016 through the spring of 2017 and the Spirit of British Columbia’s project the following year. However, the company has instead deferred the project for a year to allow it to obtain more technical clarity and commercial certainty, whilst also regaining programme schedule contingency.

Through the new schedule, BC Ferries plans for the Spirit of British Columbia to be the first ship to undergo the MLU and LNG conversion process and commence actual conversion from autumn 2017 through to the spring of 2018. The Spirit of Vancouver Island’s will follow in the next year from autumn 2018 until the spring of 2019.

“Due to the complexity of this major project, we need more time for engineering design to ensure we meet our own high standards for delivering major capital projects on-time and on budget,” said Mark Wilson, Vice President of Engineering at BC Ferries. “The Spirit-Class vessels are our biggest assets operating on the Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay route, which is the busiest route in the fleet and these ships are critical to our operation so project management and risk mitigation are extremely important.”

Edited from press release by

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