Liquefied natural gas, the maritime industry’s fuel of the future

by in Energy

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On May 18, Énergir, Groupe Desgagnés and the Port of Montréal announced a liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply system for marine fuel. This first in Québec is an important step toward cleaner maritime transportation.

Groupe Desgagnés, Énergir and the Port of Montréal teamed up to develop this LNG supply system, now available to all Québec shipowners whose fleets pass through the Port of Montréal. Moreover, Groupe Desgagnés recently launched M/T Damia Desgagnés, its very first vessel fuelled by LNG. The availability of LNG supply solutions will be a first step in encouraging shipowners to move toward this efficient, clean and cost-effective option, expected to play a leading role in reducing polluting emissions.

An environmentally friendly fuel

In Québec and throughout the world, maritime transportation contributes significantly to the air emissions that affect air quality, particularly sulfur oxides. To address this problem, the International Maritime Organization implemented new environmental standards in emission control areas for maritime vessels. In Canada, the regulation will require vessels to reduce the sulphur content of their fuel as of 2020.

Consequently, the use of LNG as a marine fuel offers undeniable advantages already known elsewhere in the world, particularly in Europe. It is currently one of the best alternatives for shipowners. It emits nearly no air pollutants (NOx and SOx) or fine particles, while reducing up to 25% of GHG emissions compared to diesel.

Boats fuelled by Énergir’s LNG

LNG supply systems are safe, flexible and have proven effective abroad. Ships can refuel directly from tanker trucks brought from Énergir’s natural gas liquefaction plant in Montréal.

By developing LNG supply solutions for the maritime transportation sector, Énergir ensures it is ready to meet shipowners’ current and future needs as this market gains momentum.

Currently, in Quebec, aside from Groupe Desgagnés’ M/T Damia Desgagnés, the Société des traversiers du Québec also operates an LNG-fuelled ferry, the F.-A. Gauthier, which has provided the Matane–Baie-Comeau–Godbout ferry service since 2015. But this is just the beginning! Both organizations have ordered other vessels able to be fuelled by LNG.

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