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RENEWABLE GAS TO FUEL CANADIAN FERRIES

RENEWABLE GAS TO FUEL CANADIAN FERRIES

Friday, October 22, 2021 

Canadian company Seaspan Ferries Corporation has become the first Canadian marine company to pilot the use of Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by its LNG powered ro-ro fleet, expecting that data from the pilot project will cut greenhouse gas emissions by upwards of 85% versus traditional diesel fuel.

As part of Seaspan’s continued efforts to reduce vessel emissions and explore alternative fuels, the company has worked closely with FortisBC Energy  to secure a source of certified carbon neutral RNG.

Harly Penner, director of fleet engineering and vessel development, Seaspan, said: “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. It also allows us to leverage the growing production of RNG in our region. We look forward to continuing to work on growing our sustainability efforts in the near future.”

FortisBC expects it will have tripled its RNG supply from 2020 and is poised to potentially triple it again by the end of 2022 if expected projects proceed on pace.

Mike Leclair, VP major projects and LNG, FortisBC said: “We know that our future is a renewable one – so when Seaspan approached us about being a part of an RNG pilot for marine LNG vessels, we were tremendously excited. 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.”

When bacteria breaks down organic waste from sources such as landfill sites, agricultural waste and wastewater from treatment facilities, it produces a biogas mostly made of methane. FortisBC captures and purifies this biogas to create RNG, a certified carbon neutral energy source, preventing the release of methane into the environment. As RNG mixes seamlessly into the existing natural gas infrastructure, it displaces equivalent volumes of conventional natural gas and lowers greenhouse gas emissions overall. Like conventional natural gas, RNG can be used as a transportation fuel in the form of compressed natural gas or LNG. Renewable Natural Gas has been approved by BC’s Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation for inclusion within the province’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard for transportation.

FortisBC believes applying carbon-neutral energy to proven technology like LNG powered marine engines provides a viable way for forward thinking shipping companies like Seaspan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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