‘British Columbia Uniquely Positioned for LNG Bunkering’
Canada’s West Coast can benefit from marine use of liquefied natural gas fuel, with payback for many applications in a little as six years, states a new report from organizations including the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance.
“All of the technologies needed to use LNG as a marine fuel are proven and commercially available,” states the 60-page Liquefied Natural Gas: A Marine Fuel for Canada’s West Coast.
The report notes that trucks using LNG will benefit if marine use stimulates the overall market.
Market Access Is the Key
“Canada has a tremendous natural gas resource advantage,” Alicia Milner, president of the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance and chair of the project steering committee, says in a release.
“Allowing access for LNG in the marine sector is smart and strategic for Canada,” Milner said. “British Columbia is uniquely positioned to become a preferred North American destination for LNG bunkering, with Port Metro Vancouver well suited to be a leader in this regard.”
“The challenge for natural gas lies in gaining market access,” Milner says in the report. “Current Canadian regulations need to be adapted to accommodate the use of natural gas as a marine fuel, while codes, standards, regulations, personnel training, operating practices and procedures, and fuel supply infrastructure are all at various stages of development.
“There is a need to identify and apply what will work in Canada.”
In the near-term, coastal vessel operators have the best opportunity to benefit from LNG, the CNGVA-led report finds. For six coastal vessels analyzed, fuel costs were reduced by more than 50% with five of the ships having a payback on initial investment of less than six years.
Rebuild the Yards with LNG in Mind
Regulatory changes would benefit such specific deployments as the LNG dual fuel ferries that Victoria- and Vancouver-based BC Ferries wants to deploy by 2017.
The LNG report also found that the marine sector may emerge as an significant new market for natural gas produced in British Columbia. Under a “medium” LNG adoption scenario, the report finds that 150 LNG vessels operating on the West Coast by 2025 would create new demand equal to 8.5% of British Columbia’s 2012 natural gas use.
The report notes too that Canada’s government is investing “billions” to rebuild Canadian shipyard capabilities. “A small fraction of this investment could be designated to help shipyards pursue LNG conversions and new builds,” the report suggests, noting that LNG “could help Canada develop a sustainable niche in the global shipbuilding sector.”
The LNG report project was jointly funded by Transport Canada and industry, with participants including ABS/the American Bureau of Shipping, BC Ferries, the British Columbia Institute of Technology, the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure-Pacific Gateway Branch, CAA, Encana, FortisBC, Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Lloyd’s Register, Port Metro Vancouver, Rolls-Royce, Seaspan, Shell, STX Canada Marine, Teekay and Wärtsilä.
CNGVA’s Milner is also the current chair of NGV Global, the world natural gas vehicles association.
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Source: CNGVA with Fleets & Fuels follow-up