Vancouver Fraser Port Authority – Accelerating the transition to low-emission energy

Towards the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s goal of phasing out all port-related emissions by 2050, the port authority and the Province of British Columbia have jointly committed $3M in funding to accelerate the trial and adoption of low- and zero-emission fuels and technologies at Canada’s largest port, the Port of Vancouver. To date, this initiative has helped facilitate the testing and adoption of a variety of alternative fuels and technologies.

In 2021, the port authority and the province funded the testing of 100% biodiesel on a commercial ferry operated by Seaspan Ferries. Following the success of that pilot project, Seaspan Ferries has since begun running all six of its commercial ferries on 100% biodiesel. In addition to the testing of biodiesel, the port authority and province also helped Seaspan Ferries procure two battery-electric powered terminal tractors. Replacing just one diesel-powered terminal truck with a battery-electric truck is estimated to eliminate 93% – or 76 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year and nearly 100% of air pollutant emissions.

In 2022, the port authority and the province funded a nine-month pilot of 100% drop-in renewable diesel in a locomotive operated by terminal operator Viterra and in one of the port authority’s patrol boats, making it the first port authority in Canada to run a vessel on 100% renewable diesel. Renewable diesel is a non-fossil fuel alternative to regular diesel that is derived from organic sources such as vegetable oils, animal fats and food waste, and can result in up to 80% less net greenhouse gas emissions than regular diesel on a life-cycle basis.

Looking ahead, the port authority plans to continue to facilitate the testing of new fuels and technologies across a range of port-related sectors through the Low-Emission Technology Initiative.