The second of two Spirit-class ferries has wrapped up its stay at Poland’s Remontowa Shiprepair Yard, marking the completion of BC Ferries’ LNG Conversion project.
Spirit of Vancouver Island got underway from Gdansk on February 28, 2019, after spending three months at the yard as part of its mid-life upgrade.
Spirit of Vancouver Island is the second of two units to undergo the upgrade after the Spirit of British Columbia received the same treatment in the first half of 2018.
Remontowa equipped each ferry with four new dual-fuel Wärtsilä 8L34DF main engines and a cryogenic tank. Currently, the ships’ engine rooms are dual fuel, adapted to be fed both with low-sulfur diesel oil and natural gas (stored as LNG) as the main fuel.
Other upgrades have included the renewal of navigation and propulsion equipment as well as passenger areas.
The LNG conversion project was delayed by a year after BC Ferries deferred it to ensure sufficient equipment procurement lead times, detailed engineering and necessary regulatory approvals, and perform additional financial due diligence.
The two Spirit-class vessels consumed approximately 15 per cent of BC Ferries annual fuel costs and their conversion to dual-fuel is expected to lead to operational savings and environmental benefits.
BC Ferries awarded the conversion contract to the Polish shipyard in March 2016. Remontowa’s competitors for work on the conversion project included Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards and Fincantieri of Italy.