Seaspan Ferries to trial renewable natural gas on LNG-fueled vessels

Seaspan Reliant, a Seaspan Ferries-owned Ro-Ro vessel (Photo: Seaspan Ferries Corporation)

Canada’s Seaspan Ferries Corporation has begun a program to test the use of carbon-neutral renewable natural gas (RNG) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by its LNG-powered Ro-Ro fleet that operate in the waters of British Columbia.

Seaspan expects that data from the tests will confirm that, by using RNG, greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by upwards of 85 per cent versus traditional diesel fuel.

Local energy company FortisBC Energy is Seaspan’s partner on the program.

When bacteria break down organic waste from sources such as landfill sites, agricultural waste and wastewater from treatment facilities, the result is a biogas mostly made of methane. FortisBC captures and purifies this biogas to create RNG, a certified carbon-neutral energy source, preventing the release of methane into the environment.

As RNG mixes seamlessly into the existing natural gas infrastructure, it displaces equivalent volumes of conventional natural gas and lowers greenhouse gas emissions overall.

Like conventional natural gas, RNG can be used as a transportation fuel in the form of compressed natural gas or LNG.

RNG has been approved by BC’s Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation for inclusion within the province’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard for transportation.

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