Natural gas is being tested in Canada as a marine fuel. The NM F.-A.-Gauthier has officially been commissioned and is the first ferry in North America to be fueled with liquified natural gas (LNG). It is also the first ship of any kind running on LNG in Canada. Gaz Métro, a company that sells LNG, applauded the trial and the noted in a press statement that by choosing natural gas as the fuel for its new admiral-ship, the Société des traversiers du Québec is reaching an important milestone in the Québec maritime transport sector and paving the way for local shipowners to use a proven, high-performance and cleaner technology.
Gaz Métro also states the use of LNG makes it possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25 percent, compared with marine diesel, in addition to almost completely eliminating fine particle emissions and other air pollutants. LNG motors are also quieter and produce less vibration, which is more respectful of marine life.
LNG motors are a proven technology widely used for many years in road and maritime transport worldwide, particularly in Europe. “It’s extraordinary that this major first is happening here in Québec, and Gaz Métro is very proud to be a part of it,” highlighted Martin Imbleau, vice president, Development and Renewable Energies at Gaz Métro. “In support of Québec’s Maritime Strategy, LNG is a concrete solution for fighting climate change and allows local shipowners to comply with the increasingly stringent standards regarding polluting emissions onNorth America’s waterways.”
Following an agreement concluded in 2013, Gaz Métro, through its subsidiary Gaz Métro LNG L.P., was chosen as the LNG supplier to fuel three new Société des traversiers du Québec ferries, including the NM F.-A.-Gauthier. Today this ship is replacing the NM Camille-Marcoux for the Matane–Baie-Comeau–Godbout ferry service. The two other ships will be assigned to the Tadoussac–Baie-Sainte-Catherine crossing.