Québecian natural gas distribution company Gaz Métro has progressed its energy diversification plan by entering into an agreement to acquire biomethane and build a public liquefied biomethane fuelling station at Rivière-du-Loup, a small city on the south shore of the St Lawrence River. The agreement covers the purchase of the liquefied biomethane produced by the anaerobic digestion plant at Rivière-du-Loup and the operation of a new biomethane fuelling station, intended for the heavy transport market.
The renewable gas project was announced at a press conference at the Rivière-du-Loup Carrefour du camion in the presence of Jacques Gourde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, for Official Languages and for the Economic Development Agency for the Regions of Quebec, and MP for Lotbinière-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, Pierre Arcand, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, Jean D’Amour, President of SÉMER, Michel Morin, Mayor of the City of Rivière-du-Loup, as well as Jean-Pierre Noël, General Manager of Gaz Métro Transport Solutions (GMTS).
The project marks a new stage in the “Blue Road’ project, which supplies liquefied natural gas in the busy corridor between regions of Québec and Greater Toronto that is travelled by heavy trucks. Joining the two other fuelling stations serving the “Blue Road,” the one in Rivière-du-Loup is said by Gas Métro to be the first to offer fuel to the public and will also be a trend-setter in distributing a renewable fuel. The project will also mark an important milestone in the innovative measures announced by the Québec government aimed at the development of liquefied natural gas for heavy transportation.
Gaz Métro has signed an agreement with the Société d’économie mixte d’énergie renouvelable de la région de Rivière-du-Loup (SÉMER), wherein GMTS undertakes to buy all the liquefied biomethane produced by the Rivière-du-Loup plant for a minimum for 20 years. The agreement brings to fruition plans first announced in 2010 when the company named biomethanation of organic wastes as a future project.
At the end of July, Secretary Gourde announced a Canadian Government financial contribution of up to $4,061,318 to SÉMER as part of the Green Infrastructure Fund, to enable the organic waste management project in Rivière-du-Loup to install a system to process residual organic matter in an efficient way, and, in turn, generate biomethane. The new facilities will be built at the Rivière-des-Vases landfill site in Cacouna.
“We are anxious to pursue our work with SÉMER in order to continue to develop this new energy sector,” said Jean-Pierre Noël, GMTS General Manager. “It is a very promising avenue for the sound management of waste, the local production of green energy, and the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in an activity sector that greatly needs it – heavy transportation.”
Gaz Métro Transport Solutions (GMTS), a subsidiary of Gaz Métro, was created to encourage the transportation industry to switch to natural gas. GMTS is committed to developing a market in Quebec for compressed and liquefied natural gas as a source of fuel.
The annual production of liquefied biomethane at the Rivière-du-Loup plant is estimated at 3 million m3, which will lead to savings in GHG emissions of more than 7,000 tonnes. In fact, the use of biomethane as an alternative to diesel fuel by heavy trucks translates into a reduction of GHGs in the order of 85%.
(This article primarily compiled using information from a Gaz Métro press release)