The Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance (CNGVA) says major economic benefits and emissions reductions can occur by expanding the use of natural gas as a marine fuel on Canada’s Great Lakes and East Coast. This finding is discussed in its newly released report: Liquefied Natural Gas: A Marine Fuel for Canada’s Great Lakes and East Coast.
CNGVA says this is a summary report of an in-depth study undertaken in partnership with Transport Canada and with the support of a broad cross section of industry, government and other stakeholders. The report concludes that using liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) as a marine fuel will provide significant economic benefits to the owners and operators of vessels, especially coastal vessels.
As well, the report notes that natural gas is a clean energy option that offers a means of reducing emissions to meet current and pending environmental regulations.
Bruce Winchester, Executive Director for CNGVA, explains: “With the arrival of LNG powered ferries in eastern and western Canada, this promising clean and affordable marine fuel has begun to gain a toe hold in Canada. Ongoing collaboration remains essential to clearing the regulatory path to ensure that Canada’s abundant natural gas resources can be more widely used in the marine sector.”
“Natural gas utilities are playing a critical role in advancing the use of clean and affordable natural gas in Canada’s transportation markets, and this includes fleets that operate at Canada’s ports. This report is useful to all stakeholders as it provides information on the marine opportunity and makes recommendations on how to realize that opportunity,” says Timothy M. Egan, President and CEO, Canadian Gas Association.
The report concludes that under a “medium” adoption scenario:
- 148 LNG vessels could be operating on the Great Lakes and East Coast, requiring 783,000 metric tonnes of LNG annually provided through Canadian port facilities in 2025.
- Vessel owners may see annual fuel cost savings of 25 to 50 per cent in 2025.
- Significant emissions reductions in 2025:
- 880,000 tonnes/year in CO2e emissions
- 37,100 tonnes/year in sulphur oxides
- 19,600 tonnes/year in nitrogen oxides
- 6,100 tonnes/year in particulate matter
Several barriers to greater adoption of natural gas are outlined including LNG and CNG production and distribution capacity, human resources needs, and unfamiliarity with the technology and fuel. The report makes a number of recommendations to address these barriers.
“LNG and CNG offer significant economic and environmental advantages as a marine fuel and as an energy solution for other transportation markets,” added Cynthia Hansen, Executive Vice President, Utilities and Power Operations for Enbridge Inc.
Andrew Kendrick P.Eng., Vice President Operations, Vard Marine Inc. (Ottawa): “With several of our LNG-fueled designs now in operation in Canada, we have been able to see directly the environmental and economic benefits of moving to this clean energy option. This report should encourage other stakeholders to move forward with their own initiatives.”
Serge A. Buy, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Ferry Association: “Canadian ferry operators are increasingly interested in adopting LNG as a fuel source. The environmental benefits and cost savings show that there is strong potential for the sector. With increased access to LNG will come greater adoption.”
LNG is natural gas that is cooled to a liquid state to -162 degrees Celsius to reduce its volume by 620 times compared to natural gas at normal pressure. CNG is natural gas that is compressed at a high pressure to reduce its volume by up to 300 times compared with natural gas at normal pressure.
The Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance advocates on behalf of Canada’s natural gas vehicle industry. CNGVA members are leading Canadian companies involved in research, manufacturing, fuel and infrastructure supply, vehicle conversion technology and installation, consulting, and international project management.
CNGVA is an affiliated association of NGV Global.