Gaz Métro, a large LNG distributor, has commissioned the first ferry in North America to run on LNG, the NM F.-A.-Gauthier, through its subsidiary, Gaz Métro LNG L.P.
The vessel was commissioned in Québec, Canada
. It is also the first ship of any kind to run on LNG in Canada.
The F.A. Gauthier is reportedly the first of three new LNG ferries ordered by Société des traversiers du Québec (STQ), and will serve the route between Matane, Baie-Comeau, and Godbout on the St. Lawrence Seaway.
MV-F.-A. Gauthier provides a boarding capacity of 180 vehicles and 800 passengers is 133.3 m long and can reach about 20 knots boat speed powered by Wartsila 12V34DF (dual-fuel) engines. Crossings will be of approximately the same duration as its predecessor but with major differences in environmental impact.
LNG motors are a proven technology widely used for many years in road and maritime transport worldwide, particularly in Europe. “It’s extraordinary that this major first is happening here in Québec, and Gaz Métro is very proud to be a part of it,” highlighted Martin Imbleau, Vice President, Development and Renewable Energies at Gaz Métro.
“In support of Québec’s Maritime Strategy, LNG is a concrete solution for fighting climate change and allows local shipowners to comply with the increasingly stringent standards regarding polluting emissions on North America’s waterways,” he added.
By choosing natural gas as the fuel for its new admiral-ship, the Société des traversiers du Québec is reaching an important milestone in the Québec maritime transport sector and paving the way for local shipowners to use a proven, high-performance and cleaner technology.
The use of liquefied natural gas makes
it possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25%, compared with marine diesel, in addition to almost completely eliminating fine particle emissions and other air pollutants. LNG motors are also quieter and produce less vibration, which is more respectful of marine life.