The Spirit of Vancouver Island spent time in Poland, where it was converted to run on liquefied natural gas rather than diesel only.
LNG Canada’s recent decision to move forward with the largest private investment in our country focused attention on the export-oriented benefits that have dominated public discourse about LNG — expanded trading opportunities with Asia, monetizing B.C.’s natural gas deposits and increased use of cleaner natural gas in new international markets.While these are among the chief benefits of natural gas, B.C.’s LNG can also be used domestically to reduce greenhouse gas and air contaminant emissions and lower the costs of transporting goods and people.As one of the most economical and clean fuel sources, LNG can play a key role in supporting B.C.’s climate action plan, presenting a way to reduce our net carbon and air pollutant emissions, especially in the transportation sector.With transportation responsible for roughly 40 per cent of B.C.’s GHG emissions, the potential environmental impact of a transition to natural gas is significant. If B.C.’s commercial fleets and vehicles adopt natural gas for fuel, for example, carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced by 20 to 30 per cent. Those fleets would also save up to 50 per cent in fuel costs compared to diesel.Transitioning maritime vessels to natural gas has a similarly dramatic impact. Traditionally reliant on carbon-heavy fuel sources, the use of LNG as a marine fuel is projected to reduce GHG emissions in the marine shipping sector by 21 per cent and offer major cost savings for operators.The economic and environmental benefits of natural gas have not gone unnoticed around the globe.Related
The International Maritime Organization set a target to reduce GHG emissions in marine shipping by 50 per cent by 2050. The policy is expected to trigger an increase in the number of LNG-capable vessels and availability of LNG at ports. In fact, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority offers discounts to ships that use cleaner fuels, is currently working with industry and government to facilitate the broader use of LNG by ships and recently became the first North American port authority to join SEALNG, an organization dedicated to promoting adoption of LNG as a marine fuel.In order to facilitate wider adoption of LNG, more education and awareness is needed on its environmental and economic benefits. The Canada Gas & LNG Conference in Vancouver last week was an important step in that process. But we also need continued collaboration between private- and public-sector partners, which has already led to meaningful innovation and stewardship at a local level.For example, FortisBC has worked with Seaspan Ferries Corp. and B.C. Ferries to develop a new process that delivers LNG to fuel their ships via tanker truck delivery on deck — a solution that significantly lowers the effective cost of LNG fuelling. The results speak for themselves: Seaspan estimates its carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by approximately 22 per cent while B.C. Ferries expects to both reduce its fuel costs by millions of dollars and reduce its CO2 emissions by 21,500 tonnes annually — the equivalent of taking about 4,400 vehicles off the road per year.Another example is how industry has rallied around the government’s CleanBC policies, which call for improved air quality by reducing emissions from short-haul trucking and the transport of goods. In response, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, TransLink and the province have introduced a pilot program aimed at giving container truck drivers the opportunities to trial cleaner fuels like natural gas.Collaborative initiatives like these serve as a testament to our domestic market’s potential as both a production source of natural gas and a trial ground for widespread LNG adoption — a natural fit, given B.C.’s abundant natural resources, sustainability-focused regulatory framework and collaborative industry environment.Sarah Smith is director of natural gas for transportation, regional liquefied natural gas and renewable natural gas for FortisBC.Letters to the editor should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The editorial pages editor is Gordon Clark, who can be reached at email@example.com.CLICK HERE to report a typo.Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.