Investigating Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a Marine Fuel for Canada’s Arctic

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In This Report, You'll Learn About

  • Liquefied natural gas (LNG), its uses and characteristics, including liquefaction, storage process and available technologies
  • The socioeconomic and environmental risks and benefits of LNG as a marine fuel and energy source for the Arctic region of Canada
  • The issues relating to the introduction and use of natural gas as a marine fuel in the Canadian Arctic, including safety, training, regulations, infrastructure required, costs and climate change implications

Project Summary

This project by the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance (CNGVA), VARD Marine, and Clear Seas with support from Transport Canada’s Innovation Centre, investigated 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.

Key Takeaway

The technologies that support all aspects of using LNG as a marine fuel are well proven and no technological barriers preventing the use of LNG under Arctic conditions exist. The economic feasibility of LNG depends on a discount between natural gas and oil prices, because of the need to repay higher capital cost of new and retrofitted LNG systems on ships.

LNG’s ability to reduce air and water pollution may drive its growth as a marine fuel in support of meeting current and pending environmental regulations like the heavy fuel oil (HFO) ban. The environmental benefits of LNG include reductions in oil spill risk and emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur oxides (SOX), nitrogen oxides (NOX), particulate matter, and black carbon. However, emissions of methane, a powerful short-term greenhouse gas, increase. The change in 100-year global warming potential CO2-equivalent emissions in the Canadian Arctic region from the different LNG implementation scenarios depends on which engine technology is used, with limited or no benefit from using the more common high-methane emissions engines and up to 29% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the less common low-methane emissions engines.

Statements & Quotations

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 Speakers, Presentations and Recordings

Day 1

Day 2

  • Arctic Marine Natural Gas Supply Chain Study: Project Overview – Bruce Winchester, Executive Director, Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance
    Watch the video | Download the presentation
  • LNG as a Ship Fuel for the Arctic: Results – Andrew Kendrick, Vice-President, Vard Marine
    Watch the video | Download the presentation
  • Supplying LNG for Ships and Potential to Replace Diesel as an Energy Source: Preliminary Findings and Environmental Tradeoffs – 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; Regulatory Challenges Impacting Supply Chain and Marine Operators – 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
  • Discussion
    Watch the video

Additional Resources

Research Team

   Paul Blomerus, Executive Director, Clear Seas

   Meghan Mathieson, Director of Strategy and Innovation, Clear Seas

   Chloe Scott, former Research Associate, Clear Seas

   Andrew Kendrick, Principal Consultant, VARD Marine

   Andrew Miltimore, Mechanical Engineer, VARD Marine

   Sarah Thomson, Quality Manager and Engineer, VARD Marine

Published September 26, 2022