Mid-life upgrade for Spirit of British Columbia

Photo: Wikimedia.com/Ken Walker
Photo: Wikimedia.com/Ken Walker

BC Ferries’ Spirit of British Columbia has been removed from service as of yesterday to prepare for departure to Poland’s Remontowa Ship Repair Yard under its own power on September 12 for
completion of a mid-life upgrade.

While the vessel is at the company’s “fleet maintenance unit” in Richmond, several preparations will occur, including the installation of a wave break on the main car deck forward section. The transit of the vessel should take approximately 42 days, depending on weather.

In 2016, BC Ferries awarded a contract to Remontowa Ship Repair Yard to conduct the Spirit-class mid-life upgrades, which include the conversion of both vessels to dual-fuel so they can operate on liquefied natural gas or ultra-low sulphur marine diesel.

In addition to the liquefied natural gas conversion, the vessel’s passenger areas will be upgraded with new carpeting, refurbished washrooms, expanded gift shop and an additional washroom on Deck 5 as well as a new coffee bar on Deck 6. Upgrades to the passenger elevators include renewal of mechanical and electrical drive components, emergency communication system and electrical and control systems.

Other planned upgrades include the renewal of navigation equipment, propulsion equipment components including rudders, steering system, bow thrusters, propeller blades, LED lighting and
more efficient air conditioning equipment to reduce energy consumption.

The Spirit of British Columbia will be the first ship through the mid-life upgrade and conversion process, with the upgrade being completed from autumn 2017 through the spring of 2018. The Spirit of Vancouver Island will follow the next year from the autumn of 2018 through the spring of 2019.

The Spirit of British Columbia was built in 1993 and the Spirit of Vancouver Island was built in 1994.

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