Canadian Manufacturing

LNG-powered ships off B.C. coast could cut GHG emissions, fuel costs

Report suggests LNG use in marine vehicles a viable alternative to traditional fuel sources

April 2, 2014  by Cleantech Canada Staff

OTTAWA—While moving liquefied natural gas (LNG) by ship off Canada’s Pacific coast remains a hotly debated topic, a new report suggests using the fuel to move ships off of British Columbia to take advantage of the province’s bountiful supply.

According to the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance (CNGVA), fuel costs for using LNG compared to other fuel sources were reduced by more than 50 per cent, and the technology needed to use the fuel source in marine applications already exists.

“Canada has a tremendous natural gas resource advantage,” CNGVA president Alicia Milner said in a release.

What’s more, with new marine regulations taking effect in January 2015 that will require a 90 per cent reduction in fuel sulphur content, LNG could be the answer ship operators need.


Compared to traditional marine fuels, the CNGVA said the gas can reduce sulphur emissions by at least 90 per cent, as well as lower nitrogen oxide emissions by 35 per cent or more, cut particulate matter by at least 85 per cent, and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 19 per cent.

“Allowing access for LNG in the marine sector is smart and strategic for Canada,” Milner said.

“British Columbia is uniquely positioned to become a preferred North American destination for LNG bunkering, with Port Metro Vancouver well-suited to be a leader in this regard.”

For six coastal vessels analyzed, fuel costs were reduced by more than 50 per cent.

Five of the six ships analyzed had a payback on initial investment of less than six years.

The marine sector would also serve as an important new market for B.C.’s extensive LNG resources, the association said.

Under a “medium” LNG adoption scenario, 150 LNG vessels operating on the West Coast by 2025 would create new demand equal to 8.5 per cent of the province’s 2012 natural gas use.

There is currently a project in the works in the province that would see Crown ferry operator  BC Ferries that would see it run a trio of LNG-powered vessels by 2017.

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