December 13, 2020. For the first time ever on the Great Lakes, a marine vessel refueled with liquefied natural gas (LNG). Carrying a load of asphalt, the MV Damia Desgagnés docked at the Port of Hamilton’s Pier 22 to refuel before departing for Detroit. As a result of a new partnership between the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority and REV LNG, marine vessels will now be able to refuel with liquefied natural gas during any stopover at Hamilton Port. This is a major milestone in the energy evolution of the Great Lakes marine shipping industry, which is looking for new ways to reduce GHGs and advance environmental goals.

“As a founding member of the Green Marine program, we are always looking for new ways to support improved environmental performance. This offering to our shipping customers will keep HOPA at the forefront,” said Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority CEO Ian Hamilton. “We look forward to continuing to find new ways to support improving air quality, reducing GHGs, and working collaboratively with Canadian and U.S. marine and energy sector partners to help accelerate the adoption of LNG, and spur further fuel innovations. It also aligns with HOPA’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2025.”

REV LNG, a Pennsylvania-based liquefied natural gas services provider, presided over the commercial and technical development of the project, LNG transportation and all shore-side operations.

Pivotal LNG, a leading provider of LNG marine fuel In the U.S., supported the project with its expertise and LNG supply from the recently operational Towanda Liquefaction and Storage Facility, located in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. The facility is owned and operated by an affiliate of Pivotal LNG in partnership with REV LNG.

The Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway system is an important part of this international network. Although LNG supply chains are still relatively new in the Great Lakes, demand for LNG is growing as ship-owners work to meet or exceed national climate targets for GHG reduction and improved air quality, in addition to those set by the IMO.

Currently, the only LNG capacity at ports in Canada exists along the west coast in BC and the St Lawrence River in Montreal and Quebec City. “As the most carbon efficient mode of transport, marine shipping has an important part to play in the battle against climate change,” says Bruce Burrows, President and CEO of the Chamber of Marine Commerce. “Canadian ship operators have spent more than $2 billion in recent years on new ships as well as adopting technologies and alternative fuels to decrease their environmental footprint further. LNG is part of the mix of solutions and having an expanded supply network will be key to its further adoption.”