BC Ferries annual vessel maintenance season is well underway and the company is poised to spend $57 million in British Columbia with various marine service suppliers to support its fleet during the current refit cycle this fiscal year.
Over the past decade, BC Ferries spent more than $1 billion at British Columbia shipyards, equivalent to the value of building 10 new ships. BC Ferries sources local suppliers to complete necessary upgrades on its fleet of 36 vessels including repairs, dry-docking, and life extension projects. Shipyards including Vancouver Drydock (Seaspan), Point Hope Shipyard, Esquimalt Drydock, Esquimalt Graving Dock and Allied Shipbuilders as well as BC Ferries own shipyard, the Fleet Maintenance Unit (FMU) in Richmond, BC have all completed work for the ferry company.
Photo above: The Powell River Queen spent some time at Vancouver Drydocks in October this year, highlighting the importance of the ferries for local shipyards.
“We’re serious about driving the BC marine economy, and the investment we make in the province for marine services, repair and maintenance is quite substantial,” says Mark Collins,
BC Ferries’ President and CEO. “The $57 million will be spent on 17 vessels between September 2018 and March 2019, including contracts with Vancouver Drydock, Esquimalt Drydock and Point Hope Shipyard in Victoria as well as at our own Fleet Maintenance Unit.”
BC Ferries’ FMU directly employs 150 skilled tradespeople. The facility contains a complex of workshops engaged in skilled ship repair activities, such as machinery rebuilding, structural repairs and lifesaving system recertification. FMU employees perform a critical role in helping to ensure vessels provide safe and reliable service for coastal communities.
Other British Columbia-based ship repair services employed by BC Ferries include West Coast Extraction Systems (cleaning and restoration), Meridian Marine (steel fabrication and machinery), Wartsila Canada (machinery supply and rebuild), Kone (elevators and escalators), Dynamic Engineering (marine power generation), Frontier Power (marine engines and power), 3GA Marine (naval architecture and engineering), Clark & Pattison (painting) and McRae Electric.
BC Ferries is a significant contributor to the BC economy. Including the refit work, the company spends $200 million annually on ships, terminals and information technology infrastructure in British Columbia and generates $100 million in annual government tax revenue. This is in on top of the $4.4 billion in payroll and $1.4 billion in fuel procurement since 2003.
BC Ferries is committed to hiring locally and employs more than 5,100 British Columbians, many in remote and rural communities.
BC Ferries is a steward of safe, reliable and sustainable marine transportation and the company’s mission is to connect communities and customers to the people and places important in their lives. BC Ferries is proud of its contribution as an enabler of commerce for coastal communities and as a vital participant in the provincial economy.