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Canada’s Seaspan Ferries pilots RNG use

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Seaspan Ferries has become the first Canadian marine company to pilot the use of RNG.

Seaspan expects that data from the pilot will confirm that, by using RNG, greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by more than 85% compared to traditional diesel fuel.

Like conventional natural gas, RNG can be used as a transport fuel in the form of CNG or LNG. RNG has been approved by British Columbia’s (BC) Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation for inclusion within the Province’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard for transportation.

As part of its continued efforts to reduce vessel emissions and explore alternative fuels, Seaspan has worked closely with FortisBC Energy to secure a source of certified carbon-neutral RNG.

“RNG, when used in our fleet in conjunction with traditional natural gas, will allow us to move towards our emissions reduction goals and make a real impact on our carbon footprint,” said Seaspan’s director of fleet engineering and vessel development, Harly Penner.

“It also allows us to leverage the growing production of RNG in our region. We look forward to continuing to work on growing our sustainability efforts in the near future.”

FortisBC’s RNG programme reopened to new subscribers on 15 October as it has been able to dramatically increase supply over the last year. By the end of 2021, FortisBC expects to have tripled its RNG supply from 2020 and is poised to triple it again by the end of 2022, if expected projects proceed on pace.

Mike Leclair, vice-president of major projects and LNG at FortisBC, commented: “We know that our future is a renewable one – so when Seaspan approached us about being part of an RNG pilot for marine LNG vessels, we were tremendously excited.

“Using RNG for marine LNG has the potential to be an emissions game-changer for the sector and is yet another example of how renewable gas development is transforming our natural gas infrastructure into a delivery system for carbon-neutral energy, supporting BC’s climate action goals.”