An eco-friendly liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply solution for marine fuel is now available at the Port of Montreal.

The Montreal Port Authority (MPA), shipowner Groupe Desgagnés and energy provider Gaz Métro teamed up to develop the LNG supply system that is operated by a Gaz Métro subsidiary. The system is available to all shipowners in Quebec, including fleets passing through the Port of Montreal.

Gaz-Métro, the largest natural gas distribution company in Quebec, delivers the LNG using shore-to-ship equipment at Port of Montreal dockside locations.

The MPA and Gaz Métro expressed the hope that the availability of LNG supply solutions will be a first step in encouraging shipowners to follow the lead taken by Groupe Desgagnés and, in turn, move toward this efficient, cost-effective and clean option.

When cooled to -160°C, natural gas changes from a gas to a liquid. In liquid form, it takes up 600 times less space than in its gaseous state – an advantage in terms of transportation and storage.

The LNG comes from Gaz Métro’s liquefaction plant in Montreal East. Once liquefied, the natural gas is stored in the plant’s cryogenic tanks. The plant has two loading docks for filling tanker trucks, which supply refuelling stations or service customers directly.

The LNG supply solution in the Port of Montreal comes on the heels of the inauguration of the M/T Damia Desgagnés, the first of four Groupe Desgagnés asphalt tankers capable of running on LNG.

“I praise Groupe Desgagnés’ forward thinking, which is very inspiring for Quebec’s maritime industry,” said Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the MPA. “The Port of Montreal shares this vision to exercise positive leadership in sustainable development practices and, in this context, the LNG fuel supply solution that will be available on our docks is another significant and concrete action toward making commercial shipping even more environmentally friendly.”

“I would like to commend the leadership and vision of Groupe Desgagnés, which was the first commercial shipowner to order vessels destined to navigate in Quebec able to use LNG as marine fuel,” said Sophie Brochu, President and CEO of Gaz Métro. “LNG is currently one of the best solutions available to replace petroleum products in the maritime sector, due to its environmental assets. In particular, it respects new Canadian and international maritime transportation standards that aim to minimize the emission of air pollutants (nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides).”