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Seaspan Ferries to reduce emissions by using RNG in LNG-powered vessels

Seaspan Ferries Corporation (Seaspan Ferries) has become the first Canadian marine company to pilot the use of renewable natural gas (RNG) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by its roll-on, roll-off (RoRo) liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered marine fleet. Seaspan expects that the pilot data will confirm that, by using RNG, GHG emissions can be reduced by up to 85 percent versus traditional diesel fuel.

Seaspan Ferries Corporation (Seaspan Ferries) has become the first Canadian marine company to pilot the use of renewable natural gas (RNG) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by its roll-on, roll-off (RoRo) liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered marine fleet (photo courtesy Seaspan Ferries).

Seaspan Ferries is part of Seaspan Marine Transportation, a group of Canadian companies that are primarily involved in ship assist, coastal and deep-sea transportation, ferry services, and fuel bunkering on the west coast of North America

The company operates a daily commercial ferry service between terminals on British Columbia’s Lower Mainland at Tilbury in Delta and Surrey, and on Vancouver Island at Duke Point Nanaimo and Victoria, Swartz Bay. The ferry service is offered 7 days a week, with over 18 sailings a day.

As part of Seaspan’s continued efforts to reduce vessel emissions and explore alternative fuels, the company has worked closely with FortisBC Energy Inc. (FortisBC) to secure a source of certified carbon neutral RNG (aka 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. 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, said Harly Penner, Director of Fleet Engineering and Vessel Development at Seaspan.

FortisBC’s RNG 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 RNG 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 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 BC’s climate action goals, said Mike Leclair, VP, Major Projects and LNG at FortisBC.

RNG has been approved by BC’s Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation for inclusion within the province’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) for transportation.

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