VICTORIA, B.C. – BC Ferries is set to spend $57 million with various marine service suppliers.

These suppliers will support BC Ferries’ fleet during the refit cycle for this fiscal year and in turn, will support BC’s marine economy.

According to a release from the company, BC Ferries has spent more than $1 billion at shipyards in the province over the last decade, which is an equivalent of building ten new ships.

BC Ferries sources local suppliers to complete upgrades on its 36 vessels. This includes repairs, dry-docking, and life extension projects.

“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,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ president and CEO.

According to Collins, the $57 million will be spent on 17 vessels, and includes contracts with Vancouver Drydock, Esquimalt Drydock, and Point Hope Shipyard in Victoria, as well as BC Ferries’ own Fleet Maintenance Unit (FMU).

Including the refit work, BC Ferries spends $200 million annually on ships, terminals and information technology infrastructure in the province. It also generates $100 million in annual government tax revenue. The company employs more than 5, 100 British Columbians, many from remote and rural communities.