BC Ferries' fleet maintenance report

By BCShippingNews
October 5 2012
The Queen of Chilliwack recently underwent a major life extension.
An interview with Mark Collins, VP, Engineering, BC Ferries...

In looking at upcoming work on BC Ferries’ fleet, Mark Collins, Vice President, Engineering, expects to spend $60 to $80 million during the 2012-13 fiscal year. “Most of this falls within the scope of capital and refit work which will continue for the next couple of years,” said Collins. “The really big projects come in 2015-16 when we start on major mid-life upgrades for four vessels and next year, we begin with the concept development and design for new builds that will replace three vessels plus the proposed addition of a cable ferry for Denman Island.”

In an exclusive interview with BC Shipping News, Collins provided a review of recent projects, upcoming new projects and an overview of some of the issues that “are always top of mind”.

Looking back over the last 12 months:

Queen of Chilliwack: major life extension.“It’s an older ship operating on Route 40 in the north. It was getting to the point where we didn’t feel the ship was reliable enough to meet our terms of the contract and our commitment to the people within the northern route, so the prudent thing to do was a life extension,” said Collins. Improvements were made to the stability control of the vessel and the cargo flood control doors; upgraded accommodations for crew and passengers; the main mechanical systems were overhauled; and coatings were renewed. The work was done in two five-month phases with the second phase completed this past spring.

“One of the big technical challenges was a complete electrical upgrade, including new generators, new switchboard system and propulsion system controls,” noted Collins. “In total, we invested $15 million through a cost recovery agreement with the B.C. Government. Without this substantial investment, the Chilliwack would have needed to be retired.”

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