Seaspan Ferries Corporation has become the first Canadian marine company to pilot the use of renewable natural gas to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by its roll-on, roll-off LNG-powered marine fleet. Seaspan expects that data from the pilot will confirm that, by using bio-LNG, GHG emissions can be reduced by upwards of 85% versus traditional diesel fuel. As part of its continued efforts to reduce vessel emissions and explore alternative fuels, Seaspan has worked closely with FortisBC to secure a source of certified carbon neutral biomethane.
“Renewable natural gas, when used in our fleet in conjunction with traditional natural gas, will allow us to move towards our emissions reduction goals and make a real impact on our carbon footprint,” said Harly Penner, director of fleet engineering and vessel development at Seaspan. “It also allows us to leverage the growing production of renewable natural gas in our region. We look forward to continuing to work on growing our sustainability efforts in the near future.”
FortisBC’s renewable natural gas program re-opened to new subscribers on October 15 this year as the company has been successful in dramatically increasing supply over the last year. By the end of 2021, FortisBC expects it will have tripled its biomethane supply from 2020 and is poised to potentially triple it again by the end of 2022 if expected projects proceed on pace.
“We know that our future is a renewable one – so when Seaspan approached us about being a part of a renewable natural gas pilot for marine LNG vessels, we were tremendously excited,” said Mike Leclair, vice-president, major projects and LNG at FortisBC. “Using renewable natural gas for marine LNG has the potential to be an emissions game changer for the sector and is yet another example of how renewable gas development is transforming our natural gas infrastructure into a delivery system for carbon neutral energy, supporting B.C’s climate action goals.”
Biomethane has been approved by British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation for inclusion within the province’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard for transportation. Increasing the use of renewable gases is an important part of meeting the targets of the Province’s CleanBC plan and is a cornerstone of FortisBC’s 30BY30 target to reduce its customers’ GHG emissions by 30% by 2030.
FortisBC believes applying carbon-neutral energy to proven technology like LNG powered marine engines provides a viable way for forward thinking marine shipping companies like Seaspan to reduce GHG emissions. It also strengthens B.C.’s potential credentials as a desirable LNG bunkering hub.