BC Ferries said its two vessels will be conducting sea trials in the Saanich Inlet from September 21 – 24 in order to demonstrate the performance of the vessels for the three shipyards bidding on the mid-life upgrades including conversion to dual-fuel so the ships can operate on LNG.
The Spirit of Vancouver Island and the Spirit of British Columbia will undergo two days of sea trials to demonstrate the operational profiles of the ships including vessel manoeuverability, acceleration and speed, BC Ferries said in a statement.
These trials will provide the shipyards with data on control system parameters as well as peak power loads in variable weather, tide or current conditions experienced when transiting Active Pass.
The three shipyards bidding on the project are Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards, Remontowa SA of Poland and Fincantieri of Italy.
Over the next three months, BC Ferries said it will continue to negotiate with the three proponents to select the final bidder.
The company expects to award a contract for the Spirit Class midlife upgrades and conversions to the successful bidder in early 2016.
BC Ferries is planning for the Spirit of British Columbia to be the first ship through the MLU and LNG conversion process and commence actual conversion from the fall of 2017 through the spring of 2018, and the Spirit of Vancouver Island’s to follow the following year from the fall of 2018 through the spring of 2019.
Image: BC Ferries