A contract to renovate B.C. Ferries’ two largest vessels has been awarded to the largest shipyard in Poland for $140 million.
BC Ferries awarded the conversion contrast to Remontowa Ship Repair in Gdansk, Poland. That’s the same company that earlier received the contract to build three new duel-fuel ferries that will be able to run on either liquefied natural gas (LNG) or diesel.
The ferry corporation announced on Thursday that both Spirit-class ferries, the Spirit of Vancouver Island
and Spirit of British Columbia
, will undergo mid-life upgrades at Remontowa Ship Repair Yard S.A. in Gdansk, Poland so that the vessels can be used for another 25 years.
BC Ferries says the work will be completed by 2019 and will include updated safety systems, a refreshed interior design and conversions of both vessels to dual fuel, so they can operate on LNG and diesel.
B.C. Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall said:“This isn’t just a refit, it’s a massive project, not the typical refit that we do.”
The upgrades include converting the Spirit of Vancouver Island and Spirit of British Columbia to dual-fuel so that they can operate on liquefied natural gas in addition to diesel.
The first ferry to be upgraded in Poland will be the Spirit of British Columbia, built in 1993. That work will start in fall 2017 and is expected to be completed in spring 2018.
The Spirit of Vancouver Island, built in 1994, will follow in fall 2018, with work expected to be completed in spring 2019.