October 23, 2019. To help address the increased need for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the maritime sector, the Canadian B.C. government is joining the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and FortisBC to establish the first ship-to-ship LNG marine refueling — or bunkering — service on the west coast of North America.

According to industry standards, replacing diesel fuel with LNG has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 20%. Because FortisBC’s Tilbury facility runs on clean B.C. electricity, LNG produced there could reduce GHG emissions in marine shipping by up to 26%. LNG-fuelled vessels have a significantly reduced risk of a spill compared to those that use heavy fuel oil or diesel.

“We are confident in B.C.’s ability to join the global network of ports that deliver clean-burning LNG direct to the ships of the future,” said Premier John Horgan, who visited the world’s largest LNG bunkering facility at the Dutch port of Rotterdam in July 2019. “This will allow B.C. to have a direct impact on global emissions by reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from visiting vessels. Working together, we can meet the increasing global demand for energy solutions that reduce air pollution and protect our climate, while creating more jobs and opportunities for everyone in B.C.”

Initial findings from a study done by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for FortisBC show that a five-year construction period for LNG bunkering infrastructure could facilitate the creation of a cumulative 14,000 full-time equivalent person years of employment over the duration of the build and contribute a cumulative $1.8 billion to provincial gross domestic product. Once fully operational, a bunkering industry could have an annual economic impact of $930 million and facilitate about 3,170 full-time equivalent person years of employment.