Canadian ferry operator BC Ferries said that its vessel Spirit of British Columbia would be temporarily removed from service, starting from today, as the vessel is scheduled to undergo engineering and maintenance work.
The vessel is scheduled to undergo sea trials on September 10 and 11 in Saanich Inlet in order to complete various vessel performance tests and to verify the operational profile of the vessel.
The sea trials would be conducted in preparation for Spirit of British Columbia’s mid-life upgrade and conversion to dual-fuel so it can operate on natural gas.
BC Ferries said that the upgrades are expected to be completed by September 15. During this period, the vessel would temporarily be replace by the Coastal Renaissance on the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay route.
Spirit of British Columbia will undergo a mid-life upgrade and natural gas conversion process at Gdansk-based shipyard Remontowa Ship Repair SA from the fall of 2017 through the spring of 2018. The company’s ferry Spirit of Vancouver Island is also set to undergo the same process the following year from the fall of 2018 through the spring of 2019.
Remontowa Ship Repair Yard received the contract to upgrade the two Spirit-Class ferries to dual fuel so they can operate on LNG in March 2016.
Under the USD 140 million contract the shipyard will conduct renewal of safety systems, marine evacuation systems, rescue boats, fire detection system, public address system and installation of a local water mist fire protection system aboard the company’s Spirit of British Columbia and Spirit of Vancouver Island.