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FortisBC provides funding for Seaspan LNG ferries

LNG Industry,

FortisBC will provide CAN$5 million in incentive funding toward two new vessels for Seaspan Ferries that will be able to run on LNG.

The incentives were made possible following the creation of the government of British Columbia’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction regulation in 2012 when FortisBC announced the CAN$62 million program for fleet operators to offset part of the cost for a natural gas engine over a diesel engine.

Greenhouse gas emissions

“Our government supports these incentives which decrease operating costs, support the province’s growing LNG sector and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” commented Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett. “With the expansion of FortisBC’s Tilbury LNG facility now underway, I look forward to seeing more agreements like this in the months and years ahead.”

The funding agreement with Seaspan will result in the reduction of an estimated 5450 tpy of carbon emissions, the equivalent of taking more than 1140 passenger cars off the road annually, because natural gas is cleaner burning than traditional marine diesel fuel. Seaspan has also agreed to a fuelling agreement of up to 200 000 gigajoules of LNG per year which will come from FortisBC’s Tilbury LNG facility in Delta.

Gas fuelled vehicles

“B.C. has more natural gas fuelled vehicles in our province as a result of this incentive program than anywhere else in Canada,” added Doug Stout, FortisBC Vice-President of Market Development and External Relations. “The funding for these two marine vessels helps add to that tally, and it’s further good news that Seaspan has chosen to get its LNG from FortisBC.”

In 2014, Seaspan Ferries began shipping LNG in ISO containers from FortisBC’s Tilbury facility for use by transportation customers on Vancouver Island.

Switching to LNG

Steve Roth, Seaspan Ferries Corporation Vice-President, commented: “Switching to LNG is a natural progression for us. Since two of Seaspan’s core values are efficiency and care, we are extremely pleased that moving to LNG will both reduce fuel costs and provide environmental benefits. FortisBC provided the expertise to help us discover the best fuel alternative for our ferry fleet.”

To date, the incentive program has resulted in 400 natural gas vehicles on the road or vessels in the water, eliminating 38 000 t of carbon emissions annually, the equivalent of taking 8000 vehicles off the road each year. To date, FortisBC has signed agreements for CAN$28 million in incentive funding for land vehicles and marine vessels.

Tilbury LNG

To meet increased market demand for LNG, FortisBC has broken ground on a CAN$400 million expansion of its Tilbury LNG facility in Delta which will add 1.1 million gigajoules of LNG storage and approximately 34 000 gigajoules of liquefaction capacity per day.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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