friendly fuel than the ultra lowgrade sulphur marine diesel we burn throughout the rest of the fleet,” Wilson explains. “Overall, in the company, fuel is a considerable portion of our operating budget. We spend well over $100 million a year in fuelling the fleet. This conversion to LNG has significant operational savings of $5 to $10 million a year.” The mid-life upgrade program is part of BC Ferries’ asset management program. BC Ferries typically keeps their ships for 40 to 45 years. Around each ship’s 20-year mark, they undergo an upgrade, which includes updating and renewing passenger amenities, as well as the propulsion, HVAC and airconditioning systems.
“After 20 years, you need a major overhaul or modernization,” Wilson says. BC Ferries’ slow season is in the winter, so that’s when many of the upgrades occur. About 120 days has been set aside to work on the Spirit of Vancouver Island. “This upgrade ensures the vessels get have another 20 to 25 years of useful life remaining to serve the community reliably and safely, with a focus on the environment,” Wilson says. The Spirit of Vancouver Island will return to British Columbia in the spring of 2019 and be ready for summer service. For more information, visit bcferries.com. Ü Spirit of Vancouver Island lowering (flooding) dry dock or getting ready to move from dry dock.
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T: 250-287-3456 • F: 250-287-3442 B.C. Tugboat 2019
There’s a lot going on in the tugboat industry. BC Ferries will soon be introducing the new Island Class Vessels. Two of the ferries will b...