Ferry operator Société des traversiers du Québec (STQ) last week celebrated the arrival of its new ferry, the MV F.-A.-Gauthier—the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) ferry to operate in North America. The ferry, which was built in Italy at the Fincantieri shipyard, should begin carrying passengers in July, once STQ personnel have completed the necessary preparation work.
The celebrations were marked by the presence of Jean D’Amour, Minister for Transport and the Implementation of the Maritime Strategy and Minister responsible for the Bas-Saint-Laurent and the Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine regions.
“The F.-A.-Gauthier, and its LNG-powered technologies, represents a go green direction for Société des traversiers du Québec. By commissioning LNG-powered vessels and upgrading regional infrastructure, the STQ team has once again shown it has the expertise to manage major projects in a way that integrates tomorrow’s green technologies and fits squarely within Québec’s Maritime Strategy,” Minister D’Amour said.
The new vessel will carry 33% more passengers and 50% more vehicles than the Camille-Marcoux— for a total of 800 passengers and 180 vehicles on every crossing.
LNG presents several advantages: it takes up 600 times less space than natural gas in its original gaseous state, a key benefit for storage and fuel transportation, and cuts greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 25%, versus marine diesel oil (MDO).
The new ferry will replace the MV Camille-Marcoux, which would have to reduce its crew and passenger capacity in order to meet the new Transport Canada stability standards that take effect January 1, 2016. The F.-A.-Gauthier not only complies with but actually surpasses new international pollutants emission requirements.
Luc Génier, Vice President, Sales and Market Development at Gaz Métro, said, “We’re very pleased to come on board as LNG supplier for the new STQ ferries and participate in this North American first. We’d like to congratulate STQ for having the vision to choose LNG—a powerful, affordable and cleaner fuel—for the new Matane–Baie-Comeau–Godbout ferry. Québec’s maritime sector represents huge potential for LNG, and so does the opportunity to cut GHG emissions.”
(Source: Government of Québec)