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Energy innovation
 / 08.22.17

Natural gas: a cleaner fuel for marine vessels

Fleet owners and operators across North America have been switching to liquefied natural gas (LNG) so they can save on fuel costs and shrink their environmental footprint. And now, more and more marine vessels are jumping on board converting to LNG as a fuel.

Full speed ahead with LNG

As of August 3, 2017, BC Ferries now has three dual-fuel passenger ferries in service. The Salish Orca, Salish Eagle and Salish Raven all run primarily on LNG. Each vessel has two car decks and can carry up to 145 vehicles and 600 passengers and crew.

BC Ferries will also be converting two of the largest vessels in their fleet to LNG to bring their LNG-fueled fleet to five vessels. The company estimates their use of natural gas for all five of their vessels will result in the reduction of an estimated 29,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, the same as taking approximately 6,100 passenger vehicles off the road annually.

Salish Orca fueled by LNG

In the marine sector alone, switching to LNG could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about one third — and reduce fuel costs at the same time.

Doug Stout FortisBC, Vice-President of Market Development and External Relations

Innovation at work

FortisBC is the first company in the world to offer onboard truck-to-ship LNG bunkering.  This proprietary design was developed by collaborating with BC Ferries, Seaspan Ferries and their shipbuilders to create a customized solution that fit our customers’ needs.

The vessels are using a method called truck-to-ship bunkering, where an LNG tanker truck drives right on board the vessel to provide LNG fuel to the vessel.  This not only saves time, but reduces the need for additional fueling infrastructure.

Seaspan Ferries is very proud to be the first in the world to drive an LNG tanker onboard a vessel and couple that tanker into the ship’s LNG tank, and bunker. Our LNG provider is FortisBC and they’ve been a great partner for us.

Harley Penner Seaspan Ferries, Port Engineer

Cleaner fuel for cleaner air

We’re working to improve air quality and help our communities reach their goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, by converting cars, trucks and marine vessels to LNG. FortisBC is substantially increasing liquefaction and storage capacity at our Tilbury LNG facility in Delta in order to meet growing demand - locally and internationally - for this clean fuel.

We’re proud to be providing LNG from our Tilbury facility to local truck fleets, which will help BC reduce carbon emissions and make the air cleaner for everyone.

Sarah Smith FortisBC, Director of Natural Gas for Transportation and Regional LNG
 

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