BC Ferries is celebrating an honour it received for converting one its large passenger ferries from diesel to liquified natural gas propulsion.
The corporation earned the Shippax Retrofit Award for converting The Spirit of British Columbia to natural gas, among the largest passenger ferries to turn to LNG.
BC Ferries says the conversion to natural gas required replacement of four main engines with new dual-fuel engines, installation of a large LNG tank beneath the main deck, and development of an innovative fuel bunkering system.
The Spirit of British Columbia is the first of two Spirit Class vessels to switch to natural gas, with the Spirit of Vancouver Island completing upgrades and conversion a few weeks ago.
BC Ferries’ President and CEO Mark Collins accepted the award at the Shippax Ferry Conference that recognized new industry concepts, creativity and innovation.
“We are honoured 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,” Collins said in a statement.
“By using natural gas to fuel the two Spirit Class vessels, BC Ferries expects to reduce CO2 emissions by 12,500 tonnes annually, which is the equivalent of taking approximately 2,500 vehicles off the road every year.”
BC Ferries says the Spirit of Vancouver Island will re-enter service between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen this spring.
The Shippax Awards were launched in 1999.