West Coast Project: LNG Use in Canada’s Marine Sector
The Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance has released information on the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the marine transportation sector on Canada’s West Coast.
GLOBE-Net, May 29, 2013 – The Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance (CNGVA) has released information on the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the marine transportation sector on Canada’s West Coast.
A $1.2 million West Coast Marine LNG Project, involving 17 participating organizations from the private and public sectors and the academia, will identify and address barriers to LNG use as a marine fuel.
Participating members include Port Metro Vancouver, BC Ferries, Seaspan, and the British Columbia Institute of Technology along with marine classification societies, technology and services providers, standards development groups, federal and provincial governments, and natural gas producers and suppliers.
Stringent emissions regulations coming into force in 2015-2016 mean that vessel owners operating within 200 miles of the West Coast and in other regions of Canada will need to use lower sulphur distillate fuel, install exhaust after treatment technologies or switch to LNG in order to comply.
[stextbox id=”custom” float=”true” width=”200″ bcolor=”add3d5″ bgcolor=”add3d5″ image=”null”]LNG offers significant air quality benefits producing 80% lower NOx and particulate matter, and a 90% reduction in SOx emissions. LNG can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25% from ships. [/stextbox]
“LNG bunkering is being considered by major ports around the world as one way to reduce emissions and enhance sustainability,” said Duncan Wilson, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Port Metro Vancouver.
“We are committed to growing Canada’s largest Gateway to the Asia Pacific in a sustainable way and LNG offers the potential to improve environmental performance and enhance our competitive position,” he added.
As was noted in the recent GLOBE Advisors BC Clean Economy Market Insight Study- Clean Transportation Report, BC Ferries is also pursuing a strategy over the next decade to replace existing engines in some ships with LNG and to replace older ships with new ones powered by LNG.
With fuel as the BC Ferries’ second largest cost after labour, the company expects to realize significant operational cost savings through this initiative. Unfortunately, the capacity for manufacturing new, large-scale natural gas engines (in the 1,000-1,500 horsepower range) does not exist in the province at the present time so new engines will most likely be imported, at least in the near-term.
BC Ferries sees LNG as a viable alternative to marine diesel fuel. “While we already use low sulphur diesel, we are taking it to the next level by exploring the use of alternative fuels to reduce costs and lessen the environmental impact of our operations,” said Mike Corrigan, President and CEO.
“Extending the benefits of LNG to the marine sector is a natural next step towards a lower carbon transportation future, resulting in lower shipping and transit costs that can be passed on to British Columbians,” added Doug Stout, Vice President, Energy Solutions and External Relations at FortisBC.
[stextbox id=”custom” float=”true” width=”200″ bcolor=”add3d5″ bgcolor=”add3d5″ image=”null”]The West Coast has both a ready source of natural gas in British Columbia as well as LNG supply options including two existing utility LNG production facilities and proposed LNG export terminals in Kitimat. [/stextbox]
Westport Innovations, a global leader in natural gas engines, is a key player in the project. “The West Coast is also Westport’s backyard, so we feel it’s important to participate in this joint initiative between the federal government and industry players to bring LNG to the marine sector,” said Paul Blomerus, Senior Director at Westport.
The West Coast Marine LNG project will release a final report in November 2013 on technology readiness, training, safe operations and regulatory requirements, and environmental and economic benefits.
The project is supported by the Government of Canada under the direction of the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance (CNGVA) which is playing a lead role in coordinating participation and resource contributions.
More detail on the use of natural gas in the marine transportation sector is available here.