The British Columbia Government has joined Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and FortisBC to establish the first ship-to-ship LNG marine refuelling – or bunkering – facility on the west coast of North America.

The new project will develop ship-to-ship bunkering enabling large vessels to be fuelled from a fuelling vessel which fills up at an on-shore jetty at Tilbury Island on the Fraser River.

“We are confident in BC’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 of British Columbia.

“This will allow BC 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 BC.”

The Government is making a $25,000 contribution to a study carried out by the PwC which analyses and assess environmental and social impacts, as well as building on work already done on risk, safety and demand.

“It is expected that LNG-powered ships – specifically container, car carrier and cruise vessels – could begin calling in Vancouver as early as 2020, and global demand is expected to exceed nine million tonnes of LNG annually by 2025.” 

There are currently five BC Ferries vessels and two Seaspan cargo ferries which are fuelling with LNG from FortisBC, via truck.