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BC Ferries begins trials for LNG conversion contract

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LNG Industry,

Two vessels owned by BC Ferries – the Spirit of Vancouver Island and the Spirit of British Columbia – have started undergoing sea trials in Saanich Inlet in British Columbia (B.C.), Canada. The trials will continue to 24 September 2015, and will showcase the vessels to three shipyards, which are all bidding on upgrading the vessels. One of these upgrades is the conversion of the engines into LNG dual-fuel engines.

The trials will demonstrate maneuverability, speed and acceleration. As Mark Wilson, the Vice President of Engineering of BC Ferries, says: “This is an important step in the bidding process for the shipyards so they can measure and verify vessel performance to provide the optimal propulsive machinery arrangements they submit as part of their bids.” The shipyards involved are Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards, Fincantieri of Italy, and Remontowa SA of Poland. BC Ferries estimates that a contract will be awarded to one of these shipyards after three months of negotiations.

BC Ferries plans for the Spirit of British Columbia to be the first of its vessels to be converted to an LNG dual-fuel engine, and aims for the process to be underway from late 2017 into early 2018. The Spirit of Vancouver Island conversion is expected to follow from late 2018 into early 2019.

Edited from various sources by David Rowlands

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