Eastern Canada has taken a major step toward facilitating the trucking industry’s adoption of natural gas as a fuel through a strategic agreement between GE Capital, Canada and Gaz Métro Transport Solutions (GMTS), a subsidiary of natural gas supplier Gaz Métro, located in Québec. The agreement enables fleet operators to work with GMTS for natural gas supply and purchase and, separately, with GE Capital to secure loans or leases for natural gas vehicles (NGVs). NGVs that are eligible under this agreement use either compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Since its creation in 2010, GMTS has become a leader in the alternative fuels space in Québec, both for the advisory role it provides to companies and for its deployment of natural gas refueling stations. GE Capital has been providing wholesale and retail financing to the country’s commercial trucking sector for 35 years.
“Through this agreement, we’re giving trucking company leaders the financial motivation to make the shift from diesel to nat-gas,” said Véronique Haché, strategic initiative leader for natural gas vehicles at GE Capital.”Transitioning to natural gas is a smart way to diversify their fuel portfolios and reduce those costs.”
“We are confident that combining our respective expertise will have a positive effect on the adoption of natural gas as a fuel for the trucking industry in Eastern Canada,” said Luc Génier, president of the board of directors of GMTS, adding the financial partner reinforces his company’s turnkey approach.
GMTS explains some other important drivers of the transition to natural gas:
- Fuel is one of the highest costs in the trucking industry, amounting to as much as 40% of a trucking company’s expenses1. Moreover, natural gas can cost up to 30% less than diesel, and according to the International Energy Agency, this gap should remain for many years to come.
- Natural gas engines allow trucking companies to reduce their environmental footprint because natural gas emits up to 25% less greenhouse gas (GHG) than diesel.
- The transportation sector is the largest emitter of GHG in Québec, amounting to 44.7% of the province’s total emissions, according to the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change. More than one-third of these emissions can be attributed to merchandise road transportation with its heavy-duty diesel-powered vehicles, it has said.
Gaz Métro and the Blue Road
Gaz Métro Transport Solutions (GMTS) was created in 2010 to encourage the transportation industry to switch to natural gas, a more economic and cleaner alternative to diesel in heavy transportation. GMTS is committed to developing a market for CNG and LNG as sources of fuel.
Introduced by GMTS and launched in 2011, the Blue Road is the first LNG fuelling stations network in Canada. The Blue Road currently includes five fuelling stations in total, including three public stations in Lévis (QC), Cornwall (ON) and Sainte-Julie (QC). A fourth station to be open in Rivière-du-Loup (QC) over the next months will continue the route towards Gaspésie and the Eastern provinces.
In response to the market’s enthusiasm for natural gas as a fuel, many private and public CNG refueling sites have also emerged in recent years, paralleling the Blue Road.
(Source: Gaz Métro)