Photo: Image courtesy of BC Ferries

BC Ferries’ converted LNG ferry starts service

  • Vessels
Image courtesy of BC Ferries

BC Ferries’ Spirit of British Columbia is returning to service on Wednesday after being converted to operate on liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The Spirit of British Columbia, one of BC Ferries’ two largest vessels, returns to service on the Metro Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Victoria (Swartz Bay) route following.

The Spirit of Vancouver Island will also undergo LNG conversion from fall 2018 to spring 2019, according to Canada’s BC Ferries.

By converting the two Spirit Class vessels to run on LNG, BC Ferries expects to reduce CO2 emissions by 12,500 tonnes annually, the equivalent of taking approximately 2,500 vehicles off the road per year.

Simultaneously fuel costs will be reduced by millions when both ships are in service operating on natural gas, the company said.

The Spirit of British Columbia is the first vessel in the world to refuel LNG via delivery on a fully enclosed vehicle deck, according to BC Ferries.

The Salish Class vessels introduced last year were the first in the world to fuel liquefied natural gas on an open vehicle deck via delivery truck. Both of these innovations were conceived by BC Ferries and designed, engineered and built by BC Ferries and its partners.

The natural gas is provided by FortisBC and can be reliably delivered in B.C., which supports the local economy. These innovations saved BC Ferries’ customers more than $100 million in infrastructure costs that would have otherwise been required and have proven significant environmental benefits, the statement said.

“The two Spirit Class vessels consume approximately 16 percent of our fuel annually. The conversion of our two largest ships in the fleet, along with the introduction of our three new natural
gas-fuelled Salish Class vessels last year, goes a long way to improving the sustainability of our operations and affordability for ferry users,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President  and

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 four marine evacuation systems.


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