Canadian NGV alliance report advocates use of LNG as marine fuel

Canadian NGV alliance report advocates use of LNG as marine fuel
Illustration purposes only (Image courtesy of BC Ferries)

Report by the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance (CNGVA) says the expansion of the use of LNG as a marine fuel on Canada’s Great Lakes and East Coast could bring major economic benefits and emissions reductions. 

Liquefied Natural Gas: A Marine Fuel for Canada’s Great Lakes and East Coast study undertaken in partnership with Transport Canada and with the support of a broad cross-section of industry, government and other stakeholders notes that under a ‘medium’ adoption scenario, 148 LNG vessels could be operating on the Great Lakes and East Coast, requiring 783,000 metric tons of LNG annually provided through Canadian port facilities in 2025.

The early demand for LNG will come from ferries and other coastal traffic, but this will build quite rapidly to encompass other vessel types and a significant demand volume, the report says.

CNGVA said the report concludes that using liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) as a marine fuel will provide significant economic benefits to the owners and operators of vessels, especially coastal vessels.

However, the report also shows that there are several barriers to greater adoption of natural gas are outlined including LNG and CNG production and distribution capacity, human resources needs, and unfamiliarity with the technology and fuel.

It also urges the stakeholders to continue collaborating and building on the findings of this project and the compendium West Coast project to support current marine LNG deployments as well as proposed initiatives.

A development of a comprehensive regulatory approval process for LNG-fueled operations has been called for as well as an efficient review of proposed project.

It is also recommended that the federal government considers designating a small fraction of its planned infrastructure investments to assist leading port facilities in developing LNG fuel handling capabilities to support bunkering activities. This could help Canada to establish a presence in the North American and global LNG bunkering market.