British Columbia seeks to increase the market for LNG and renewable natural gas

From BC Gov News.

The Government of British Columbia is taking action under the Climate Leadership Plan to support investments by natural gas utilities that will increase the use of LNG and renewable natural gas in the transportation, marine and other sectors and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“We’re working with utilities to stimulate the use of LNG as a marine fuel in large, ocean-going ships, and to increase the supply and use of renewable natural gas,” said Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett. “Building the market for B.C.’s abundant supplies of natural gas offers the opportunity to achieve significant GHG emissions reductions and supports jobs and economic opportunities in British Columbia’s natural gas sector.”

Amendments to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Regulation (GGRR) under the Clean Energy Act will enable utilities to increase incentives provided to shipping companies for the conversion of vessels to run on LNG, invest in LNG bunkering (marine fuelling) infrastructure, and increase the supply and use of renewable natural gas (RNG).

Programs under the GGRR are funded by the utility, not the Province. The amendments are enabling only, and set the parameters for potential utility programs and investments that will reduce GHG emissions.

“We are creating market opportunities for British Columbia’s natural gas sector, offering utilities flexibility to create new incentive programs so we can continue to build a strong economy and a cleaner future,” said Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman.

Converting just one ocean-going tanker, cruise ship, or container ship to run on LNG instead of heavy fuel oil will reduce GHG emissions by about 93,500 tonnes per year, equivalent to taking over 19,800 vehicles off the road. Utility investments in LNG fuelling infrastructure will help establish B.C. as a marine bunkering centre on the west coast capable of providing LNG to an increasing number of LNG vessels and leading to global reductions in GHG emissions.

RNG is derived from biogas created when organic waste decomposes at landfills, agricultural and forestry waste sites and wastewater treatment facilities. Although conventional natural gas has 25% less carbon than diesel fuel and 25-39% less than typical marine fuels, RNG is considered carbon neutral unless forestry biomass is used. In this case, if waste or dead biomass is used, RNG has lower lifecycle emissions than conventional natural gas. Increased use of RNG could result in up to 450,000 tonnes of GHG reductions per year in B.C., and will also help build the market for biogas, providing economic opportunities for local governments and farming and forestry operations.

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