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B.C. Government supports LNG and RNG investments

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LNG Industry,

The Government of British Columbia (B.C.) has released a statement claiming that it is taking action under the Climate Leadership Plan to support investments by natural gas utilities that will increase the use of LNG and renewable natural gas (RNG) in the transportation and marine sectors – as well as other sectors – and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Bill Bennett, Energy and Mines Minister, said: “We’re working with utilities to stimulate the use of LNG as a marine fuel in large, ocean-going ships, and to increase the supply and use of renewable natural gas.

“Building the market for B.C.’s abundant supplies of natural gas offers the opportunity to achieve significant GHG emissions reductions and supports jobs and economic opportunities in British Columbia’s natural gas sector.”

In the statement, the B.C. Government claims that amendments to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Regulation (GGRR) under the Clean Energy Act will enable utilities to increase incentives provided to shipping companies for the conversion of vessels to operate on LNG; invest in LNG bunkering infrastructure; and increase both the supply and usage of RNG. Programmes under the regulation are funded by the utility, as opposed to the province. The amendments are also enabling only, and set the parameters for possible utility programmes and investments regarding the reduction of GHG emissions.

Rich Coleman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Gas Development, said: “We are creating market opportunities for British Columbia’s natural gas sector, offering utilities flexibility to create new incentive programs so we can continue to build a strong economy and a cleaner future.”

Amendments to the GGRR will enable utilities to double incentives available to convert marine vessels and vehicles to operate on natural gas when the new incentives go towards vehicles using 100% RNG, and enable utilities to recover the costs of acquiring and distributing RNG in rates.

Michael Mulcahy, President and CEO of FortisBC, said: “The provincial government's leadership allows FortisBC to build upon existing programs supporting the natural gas for transportation and renewable natural gas sectors.

“LNG for marine vessels ensures the international marine shipping industry has a cost-effective, clean-burning fuel with which to meet international emissions standards. Encouraging the development of renewable natural gas provides additional business opportunities for local waste producers, such as farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. These initiatives not only benefit our customers by optimising our natural gas system year-round, they benefit all British Columbians by lowering operating costs for businesses and by reducing carbon emissions in our air.”

The GGRR was originally introduced in 2012, and already enables utilities to provide incentives for the transportation and marine sectors to use CNG and LNG to reduce GHG emissions. The amendments increase the permitted expenditure limits and increase coverage of the regulation to include investments related to RNG.

Leigh Ann Shoji-Lee, Pacific Northern Gas (PNG) President, said: “PNG is proud to be working with the Province, Skeena Sawmills, G4 Insights and the community to advance the supply and use of RNG. We are committed to advancing natural gas in the communities we serve and will continue to be an active partner with the B.C. government to achieve B.C.’s GHG reduction targets.”

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