Spirit of Vancouver Island owned by BC Ferries, has been converted at Remontowa Shiprepair Yard SA. On 27 February 2019 the ferry departed from the yard following the completion of a mid-life upgrade (MLU).
The ferry has undergone modernization, upgrade and machinery conversion completed in February 2019. Then the ship began her voyage across the Atlantic, the Panama Canal and a passage along the west coast of North America to Richmond in Canada.
She is a sister ship to Spirit of British Columbia and the second of a “Spirit” class ferries which has her propulsion system converted at the Polish yard from traditional diesel based to environmentally friendly, powered by liquefied natural gas.
The shipyard equipped each of the “Spirit” class ferries with four new dual-fuel Wärtsilä 8L34DF main engines and a cryogenic tank. Currently, the ship’s engine room is dual fuel, adapted to be fed both with low-sulfur diesel oil and natural gas (stored as LNG) as the main fuel. After the conversion, the “Spirit” class vessels will reduce CO2 emissions by 12 500 tonnes per year, which corresponds to the removal of around 2500 vehicles per year.
The Spirit of Vancouver Island entered Remontowa SA on October 15, 2018. Now she is heading home and will return to her route in the summer season, when the volume of passenger traffic is the highest.
According to Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President & CEO, both ferries return to service with clean technology that reduces both their environmental footprint and cost of operations.
– The two “Spirit Class” vessels consume approximately 16 per cent of our fuel annually. The conversion of our two largest ships in the fleet goes a long way to improving the sustainability of our operations and affordability for ferry users – Mark Collins emphasized.
Other upgrades include the renewal of navigation equipment, propulsion equipment components including gearboxes, rudders, steering system, bow thrusters, propeller blades, LED lighting, more efficient air conditioning equipment to reduce energy consumption and marine evacuation systems. The vessel’s passenger areas have also been upgraded and refurbished.
BC Ferries has congratulated Piotr Soyka, the co-owner and chairman of Remontowa Holding for an on-schedule delivery of the Spirit of Vanocuver Island in a special letter singed by Mark Collins, President and CEO and Mark Wilson, VP Strategy & Community Engagement at BC Ferries.
They have expressed their gratitude for “the end result of this two-ship conversion project” and for “stepping up to the challenges and making the necessary adjustments to make the Spirit of British Columbia and Spirit of Vancouver Island a successful MLU program“.
The “Spirit” class ships, 167 m long, accommodating 358 passenger cars and 2100 passengers, capable of transporting them at speeds of up to 19.5 knots, were built in 1993 and 1994 in Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, at Integrated Ferry Constructors yards and have a service life of 50 years (extended to this dimension thanks to reconstruction and modernization performed in Gdańsk). Both ships service the Metro Vancouver — Victoria (Tsawwassen — Swartz Bay) run, which is the busiest route in the fleet.
Photo: Sławomir Lewandowski/PORTALMORSKI.PL