Commissioner Releases Decision on Capital Expenditure for Mid-Life Upgrades to the Spirit Class Vessels

November 24, 2014
Proposed Mid-Life Upgrades for the Spirit Class Vessels Approved With Conditions

Pursuant to section 55 of the Coastal Ferry Act, the commissioner has released his decision on a recent application from BC Ferries that seeks the commissioner’s approval of a major capital expenditure for the mid-life upgrade projects (“Mid-Life Upgrades”) for the two Spirit Class Vessels, the Spirit of British Columbia and the Spirit of Vancouver Island, that both operate on Route 1 (Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay);

Based upon his review of BC Ferries’ application, as well as the opinions of his consultants and comments received from the public, the commissioner approves BC Ferries’ proposed major capital expenditure for the Mid-Life Upgrades for the two Spirit Class vessels, as generally described in the Application, subject to the following conditions:

  1. The maximum amount of the major capital expenditure for the Mid-Life Upgrades to the Spirit Class vessels is set at the total amount for all work packages combined as stated in the Application which will be confirmed by a separate confidential order to BC Ferries. The maximum amount will remain confidential until completion of the procurement process;
  2. Prior to signing a final contract with a shipyard for Mid-Life Upgrades, BC Ferries must:
    1. satisfy the commissioners that the scope of Mid-Life Upgrades is as generally described in the Application and the total cost of all the work packages combined does not exceed the maximum amount approved by the confidential order referred to in paragraph (a) above;
    2. confirm that there has been no substantial change to the scope of any of the work packages and that the business rationale justifying each work package has not substantially changed in terms of net present value and payback periods;
    3. satisfy the commissioners that the company has a contingency plan which addresses the concerns of commercial ferry users in the event of a potential delay in the re-entry of service of the vessels.

Click here for Commission Order 14-03 outlining the commissioner’s decision and review.