Study: Canada Would Benefit from Green Shipping Corridors

June 20, 2023

Source: LR
Source: LR

A new study from consultancy Arup demonstrates the benefits that Canada could obtain from investing in infrastructure that would enable the uptake of low and zero emissions shipping fuels.

The Canadian Green Shipping Corridor Assessment was commissioned by Oceans North, a charity that supports marine conservation and climate action in partnership with Indigenous and coastal communities, and the Vancouver Maritime Centre for Climate. Using case studies, it shows how investing in low and zero emissions fuel infrastructure to create green shipping corridors involving Canadian ports is key to decarbonizing the maritime sector.

The study created examples of illustrative fuel production pathways for three Canadian ports: Vancouver, Prince Rupert, and Halifax. The potential development of low and zero-emission fuel uptake across different scenarios was analyzed by the LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub to estimate the size, type and cost of the infrastructure required.

As British Columbia has one of the lowest carbon intensity grids in the world, there is a significant opportunity to produce low carbon fuels such as hydrogen and biofuels. The study finds that a 200ktpa green methanol plant in the Port of Vancouver has the capacity to meet 2040 energy demands. It also finds that a carbon capture and storage enabled ammonia plant would be able to meet 2040 energy demands in the Port of Prince Rupert.

In Nova Scotia, the significant offshore wind energy capacity is expected to position the province as a major exporter for low or zero emission fuels. The study finds that a capital investment of up to $500m at the Port of Halifax could allow it to serve as a central hub for supporting and distributing sustainable ammonia-based fuel from large production facilities elsewhere in Nova Scotia.

Canada could become key to eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from maritime transport, according to the study. This would support the objectives set out in its 2030 Emission Reduction plan, and benefit communities near the ports involved. Benefits include helping to minimize the climate transition risk in Canada’s energy and transport sectors, as well as future-proofing jobs and enabling economic growth. Furthermore, it would create opportunities to decarbonize road transport, rail, shipping, aviation and other fuel-consuming sectors by identifying demand aggregation opportunities and unlocking economies of scale.  

Ginger Garte, Environmental and Sustainability Director, Americas, Lloyd’s Register, said: “Canada has the mindset, talent, and renewable energy landscape to build a coalition that demonstrates zero-emission shipping. We must now unite stakeholders across the entire port supply chain with green shipping corridors - acting as catalysts to eliminate challenges and develop resilient infrastructure blueprints that optimize the co-benefits of Canada’s unique geology."

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