British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. (BC Ferries) was recently honored for completing the conversion of its large passenger ferry from diesel to liquefied natural gas (LNG)
The award, received last month at the Shippax Ferry Conference, recognizes the innovative work performed on the Spirit of British Columbia, which is among the largest passenger ferries ever to be converted to natural gas propulsion. It is also the first passenger ferry in the world to refuel LNG via delivery on a fully enclosed vehicle deck, according to BC Ferries.
“We are honored to receive this award and to be recognized by our peers for our innovation and commitment to adopting clean technology that reduces BC Ferries’ environmental footprint,” says Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ president and CEO.
The Spirit of British Columbia was the first of the two Spirit Class vessels to switch to cleaner technology. The conversion to natural gas required the replacement of four main engines with new dual-fuel engines, the installation of an LNG tank beneath the main deck and the development of a fuel bunkering system.
“By using natural gas to fuel the two Spirit Class vessels, BC Ferries expects to reduce CO2 emissions by 12,500 [metric tons] annually, which is the equivalent of taking approximately 2,500 vehicles off the road every year,” Collins adds.
The Spirit of British Columbia’s conversion to LNG took place during its scheduled midlife upgrade between fall 2017 and early 2018 at Remontowa Shiprepair Yard in Poland. The ferry’s sister ship, the Spirit of Vancouver Island, recently completed its upgrades and natural gas conversion and will re-enter service between Victoria (Swartz Bay) and Vancouver (Tsawwassen) this spring.