Canadian Consulting Engineer

Arup studies benefits of low-emission shipping fuel infrastructure

July 25, 2023

The study makes an investment case for supply-chain projects.

Canadian Green Shipping Corridors Preliminary Assessment

Consulting engineering firm Arup has released a study—developed in partnership with the Lloyd’s Register (LR) Maritime Decarbonisation Hub—that explores the benefits Canada could reap from investing in sustainable infrastructure to better enable the uptake of low- and zero-emission shipping fuels.

Commissioned by the charity Oceans North and the industry-led Vancouver Maritime Centre for Climate (VMCC), the reportedly first-of-its-kind study considers the potential impact of ‘green shipping’ corridors and features case studies of fuel production pathways at three ports: Vancouver and Prince Rupert, B.C., and Halifax. It notes the shipping sector is responsible for about 3% of global emissions.

Dubbed the ‘Canadian Green Shipping Corridor Assessment,’ the study suggests co-ordinated action surrounding such corridors would help prove the viability of low- and zero-emission shipping fuels in the short term, laying the groundwork for scaling up use across the maritime industry. In preparing the study, the LR hub analyzed various scenarios to estimate the size, type and cost of the required infrastructure.


In British Columbia, for example, one of the world’s lowest-carbon-intensity grids in the world presents a significant opportunity to produce low-carbon fuels, such as hydrogen and biofuels. The study suggests a 200-ktpa ‘green methanol’ plant and an ammonia plant offering carbon capture and storage (CCS) could meet the Ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert’s energy demands, respectively, in 2040.

Meanwhile, offshore wind energy capacity is expected to position Nova Scotia as a major exporter of low- or zero-emission fuels. The study finds a capital investment of up to $500 million could turn the Port of Halifax into a hub for supporting and distributing sustainable, ammonia-based fuel from large production facilities elsewhere in the province.

Arup makes the investment case for such supply-chain projects in the report using its ‘total value’ framework, which considers the natural, economic, financial and social benefits of sustainable infrastructure. By way of example, advances in the maritime industry could create further opportunities to decarbonize ground (road and rail) and air transportation through economies of scale.

“Canada has the mindset, talent and renewable energy landscape to build a coalition and demonstrate zero-emission shipping,” says Ginger Garte, LR’s environmental and sustainability director for the Americas.

“This study is an important first step in understanding key barriers associated with corridor implementation and mapping out possibilities for success,” says VMCC executive director Elisabeth Charmley.

To read the study, click here.


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