July 18, 2013 - Press releases
The agreement with La Coop fédérée, which provided for the implementation of a public network of multi-energy service stations—Blue rest areas—ended at the beginning of 2015. In collaboration with market stakeholders, Gaz Métro is pursuing the deployment of the Blue Road by adding natural gas fuelling points in a strategic, flexible manner, while ensuring that market needs are met.
Montreal, July 18, 2013 – Gaz Métro Transport Solutions, LP (GMTS) and La Coop fédérée, two Quebec companies, are proud to announce that a partnership agreement has been signed to launch an innovative concept: multi‑energy service stations. These will be the first public stations in eastern Canada to offer liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel. In addition to LNG, and compressed natural gas (CNG) in some cases, the stations will distribute diesel, gasoline, propane and biofuel, and make electric terminals available to users.
This partnership is part of the Blue Road, which will deploy a network of public LNG fuelling stations for the heavy transportation industry on the corridor of highways 20 and 401. Five public service stations should be built before the end of 2015 in Quebec and Ontario. The first station is set to be built in the fall of 2013.
“We are very proud to be associating with La Coop fédérée, a large Quebec cooperative company whose expertise complements our own, to deploy this forward-thinking concept. The network of public stations on the Blue Road marks a significant milestone in merchandise transportation by providing access to natural gas as a fuel source. Transporters will be able to benefit from the significant economic and environmental advantages that natural gas offers when used to replace diesel,” noted Luc Génier, Chairman of the Board of GMTS.
“Through our Énergies Sonic sector and our Sonic banner, we are already well established in Quebec, with 185 service stations; we are thrilled to further pursue our growth with this partnership. We are also proud to offer alternatives to traditional fuel, and the energy sources at these stations will evolve to adapt to new energy sources. The stations, which may also include convenience stores, restaurants, washrooms and free Wi-Fi (where available), will become rest areas for all motorists and transporters using the Blue Road," stated Claude Lafleur, Chief Executive Officer of La Coop fédérée.
Expected deployment of the “Blue Road”
Introduced by GMTS and launched in 2011, the Blue Road is the first LNG merchandise transportation corridor in Canada on highways 20 and 401, between Rivière-du-Loup and Toronto. Each week, some 48,000 heavy-duty vehicles travel on this road segment. The Blue Road currently includes three private fuelling stations on properties owned by Transport Robert 1973 Ltd. In total, GMTS expects there will be more than eight private and public stations along the Blue Road by the end of 2015.
The economic and environmental advantages of natural gas
The transportation sector is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG) in Quebec, with 42.5% of the province's total emissions in 2010. With its heavy-duty diesel vehicles, merchandise road transportation contributes to more than a third of these emissions. In that respect, natural gas, which emits up to 25% less GHG than diesel, is the preferred alternative.
Furthermore, fuel is one of the highest budgetary items in the transportation industry, and natural gas can be up to 40% more economical than diesel. By using natural gas as fuel, companies can reduce not only their environmental footprint, but also their operating costs.
About Gaz Métro Transport Solutions
Gaz Métro Transport Solutions (GMTS) is an indirect subsidiary of Gaz Métro. GMTS was created to encourage the transportation industry to switch to natural gas, the only available alternative to diesel. GMTS is committed to developing a market in Quebec for compressed and liquefied natural gas as a source of fuel. Natural gas is a more economical choice and generates less greenhouse gas emissions than diesel. It therefore has enormous potential for the transportation industry from a commercial standpoint.
About La Coop fédéréeFounded in 1922, La Coop fédérée is the largest agri-food enterprise in Quebec and ranks amongst the 100 largest co-operatives and mutual societies in the world, across all sectors. It is owned by over 100,000 members grouped into 102 cooperatives located in several Canadian provinces. La Coop fédérée is present throughout the agri-food chain and, as well as being a wholesaler, it also provides agricultural producers with all the goods and services they require for their farming operations. The network has five brands: Elite and La Coop (animal and crop production, grain marketing), Unimat (hardware and farm machinery), Sonic (energy) and Olymel (meat processing). La Coop fédérée employs over 9,500 people with sales totalling over $5 billion. Including its affiliated network, La Coop fédérée employs almost 15,500 people with sales of $7.8 billion. and twitter.com/LaCoop_federee.