Two Quebec companies – Gaz Métro Transport Solutions, LP (GMTS) and La Coop fédérée — have signed an agreement to launch multi‑energy service stations. These will be the first public stations in eastern Canada to offer liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel. In addition to LNG, and compressed natural gas (CNG) in some cases, the stations will distribute diesel, gasoline, propane and biofuel, and make electric terminals available to users.
This partnership is part of the Blue Road, which will deploy a network of public LNG fuelling stations for the heavy transportation industry on the corridor of highways 20 and 401; the A-20 begins at the Ontario-Quebec border near Rivière-Beaudette as the continuation of Ontario Highway 401. Five public service stations should be built before the end of 2015 in Quebec and Ontario. The first station is set to be built in the fall of 2013.
“We are very proud to be associating with La Coop fédérée, a large Quebec cooperative company whose expertise complements our own, to deploy this forward-thinking concept. The network of public stations on the Blue Road marks a significant milestone in merchandise transportation by providing access to natural gas as a fuel source. Transporters will be able to benefit from the significant economic and environmental advantages that natural gas offers when used to replace diesel,” noted Luc Génier, Chairman of the Board of GMTS.
GMTS is an indirect subsidiary of Gaz Métro; it was created to encourage the transportation industry to switch to natural gas.
Expected deployment of the “Blue Road”
Introduced by GMTS and launched in 2011, the Blue Road is the first LNG merchandise transportation corridor in Canada on highways 20 and 401, between Rivière-du-Loup and Toronto. Each week, some 48,000 heavy-duty vehicles travel on this road segment. The Blue Road currently includes three private fuelling stations on properties owned by Transport Robert 1973 Ltd. In total, GMTS expects there will be more than eight private and public stations along the Blue Road by the end of 2015.
The economic and environmental advantages of natural gas
The transportation sector is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG) in Quebec, with 42.5% of the province’s total emissions in 2010. With its heavy-duty diesel vehicles, merchandise road transportation contributes to more than a third of these emissions. In that respect, natural gas, which emits up to 25% less GHG than diesel, is the preferred alternative.
Furthermore, fuel is one of the highest budgetary items in the transportation industry, and natural gas can be up to 40% more economical than diesel. By using natural gas as fuel, companies can reduce not only their environmental footprint, but also their operating costs.
(Source: Gaz Métro)