The 2013-2018 strategic plan set out two major ambitions: to protect and to grow. It is in this context and with this vision that we have been focusing on three main objectives.
First, consume less. Gaz Métro has been promoting energy efficiency to its customers since the early 2000s. These efforts have led to natural gas savings of more than 418 million cubic metres realized by Quebec customers from 2001 to 2015. Furthermore, fiscal 2015 was a record year in terms of the reduction of Gaz Métro customers’ energy requirements, with total savings of more than 42 million cubic metres.
Second, develop renewable forms of energy. Gaz Métro has become a provider of diversified energy solutions. Our company is a partner in one of Canada’s largest wind farms, the Seigneurie de Beaupré, whose 154 wind turbines represent 340 megawatts of installed capacity. It is also involved in biomethanation, which entails transforming waste into useful energy. In the summer of 2015, the Régie de l’énergie approved an initial project with the City of Saint-Hyacinthe, which will make it possible to add up to 13 million cubic metres of local and renewable natural gas to our network.
Third, consume smarter. Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel. When it is used instead of other more polluting energies, such as diesel, oil and coal, there is an immediate reduction in GHG emissions of approximately 25%, 32% and 42%, respectively. Moreover, using natural gas instead of heavy fuel oil improves air quality by reducing sulfur oxide (SO2) emissions by 99%, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 70%, and fine particle emissions by 90%.
In 2014 and 2015, Gaz Métro kicked off several projects to make natural gas more available.
- In June 2015, the Quebec and Canadian governments made financial contributions to the extension of the natural gas network in the Bellechasse region. This 71-kilometre extension to our network had been on the drawing board for over 10 years. In December 2015, the Régie de l’énergie approved this $40 million project.
- Further south, in the Asbestos sector, the federal government has made a commitment to contribute to a 7.4-kilometre extension of our network to supply the industrial park with an additional 386,000 cubic metres of natural gas over three years. In December 2015, the $4.3 million project was officially submitted to the Régie de l’énergie. Commissioning is scheduled for the end of 2016.
- In partnership with Investissement Québec, we have begun work on a development project aiming to increase the production capacity, as of 2016, of our liquefaction plant in the east end of Montréal. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) makes it possible to extend the benefits of natural gas to road and maritime transport, as well as supply natural gas to communities and industrial sites beyond our network’s reach which usually meet their energy needs with diesel or oil.