A report released this week highlights the benefits of using
liquefied natural gas (LNG) as an affordable, lower emission
fuel for Canada's marine sector.
According to the report, Liquefied Natural Gas: A Marine Fuel
for Canada's West Coast, all of the technologies needed to
use LNG as a marine fuel are proven and commercially
"Canada has a tremendous natural gas resource advantage,"
said Alicia Milner, president of the Canadian Natural Gas
Vehicle Alliance and chair of the project
"Allowing access for LNG in the marine sector is smart and
strategic for Canada. 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."
In the near-term, coastal vessel operators have the best
opportunity to benefit from LNG, according to the study. For
six coastal vessels analyzed, fuel costs were reduced by more
than 50%, with five of the ships having a payback on initial
investment of less than six years.
The marine sector can also serve as an important new market
for British Columbia's extensive natural gas resources. Under
a "medium" LNG adoption scenario, 150 LNG vessels operating
on the West Coast by 2025 would create new demand equal to
8.5% of British Columbia's 2012 natural gas use.
New marine regulations taking effect in January 2015 require
a 90% reduction in fuel sulphur content. Compared to
traditional marine fuels, LNG use can reduce sulphur emissions
by at least 90%, lower
nitrogen oxide emissions
by 35% or more, decrease
particulate matter by at least 85%, and reduce greenhouse gas
by up to 19%.
Jointly funded by Transport Canada and a broad group of
industry and other participants, the report recommends
changes to Canada's marine regulatory framework to allow for
the review and approval of new LNG project
These changes would support new project
s moving forward, including
the use of three LNG ferries that BC Ferries plans to have in
operation in 2017.