Arctic Marine Natural Gas Supply Chain Study

Clear Seas Logo
Canadian Government Logo

Executive Summary

A study of the feasibility, benefits, and risks of the use of natural gas in the Canadian Arctic

Climate change is impacting the Arctic environment and the economy. As the Arctic Ocean’s sea ice melts, new marine shipping routes are open, creating questions as to how to best balance the use and protection of these ecologically sensitive waters.

The Arctic Marine Natural Gas Supply Chain Study, led by the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance (CNGVA), VARD Marine, and Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping (Clear Seas) with support from Transport Canada’s Innovation Centre, are investigating the feasibility, benefits and risks of the use of natural gas to replace some or all of the current diesel and heavy fuel oil used in the Canadian Arctic. This switch could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25%, and other criteria air contaminants, such as particulate matter and carbon monoxide, by 80% or more.

The project will explore all issues associated with the development of a natural gas marine supply chain for the Canadian Arctic, capable of supplying natural gas fuel to vessels, coastal communities, mines, and other businesses in a region with limited infrastructure and high environmental sensitivity. The project will include full analysis of the environmental benefits and risks, cost estimation for vessels (new-builds and conversions), assessment of the payback periods and rates of return on investments, strategies for the development of infrastructure, and means of dealing with regulatory and other concerns.

While the project is presented as a stand-alone proposal, it will build on two earlier and highly successful projects involving CNGVA, Transport Canada-Innovation Centre, and others in assessing natural gas use on Canada’s west and east coasts.

Project’s Perspective-Gathering Workshop

On January 25 and 26, 2022, Clear Seas held a virtual roundtable to help chart a future for marine shipping and the use of natural gas in the Canadian Arctic. The workshop brought together 40 people – participants and speakers – representing a range of opinions and perspectives from Traditional Knowledge to Western science.

Workshop Highlights

An overview of the event and the main viewpoints shared by the speakers is available here.

Workshop Speakers, Presentations and Recordings

Day 1

  • Opening remarks – Meghan Mathieson, Director of Strategy & Innovation, Clear Seas
    Watch the video

  • Welcome and introductions – Lisa Koperqualuk, VP of International Affairs, Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada
    Watch the video

Day 2

  • Supplying LNG for Ships and Potential to Replace Diesel as an Energy Source: Preliminary Findings and Environmental Tradeoffs (task 3 & 4) – Andrew Miltimore, Mechanical Engineer, Vard Marine
    Watch the video | Download the presentation

  • Human Resources Opportunities and Challenges for LNG Use in Marine Applications and the Supply Chain (task 5); Regulatory Challenges Impacting Supply Chain and Marine Operators (task 6) – Andrew Kendrick, Vice-President, Vard Marine
    Watch the video | Download the presentation

  • Project Next Steps and Remaining Tasks – Bruce Winchester, Executive Director, Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance
    Watch the video