Clean Technology Initiative

The Clean Technology Initiative is a joint funding partnership between the port authority and the Province of British Columbia to promote the trial and adoption of low and zero-emission fuels and technologies at the Port of Vancouver.

The Clean Technology Initiative is one of the key ways the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority will fulfil the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy’s vision of phasing out port-related emissions by 2050, in support of the Government of Canada’s commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

To date, the Clean Technology Initiative has helped fund various pilot projects of clean fuels and technologies in partnership with the province and industry partners, demonstrating the high performance and cost-effectiveness of alternative, low and zero-emission technologies.

To accelerate the transition away from fossil-fuel powered equipment at the Port of Vancouver, the Clean Technology Initiative will facilitate testing of clean technology across a range of port-related sectors, such as container trucking, terminal operations, harbor vessels and commercial ferries.

Clean technology pilot projects conducted to date

Biodiesel as a marine fuel

The Seaspan Reliant ran on 100% biodiesel for one month

In 2020, the port authority and province helped fund two pilot projects with the Vancouver-based marine transportation company Seaspan Ferries, which operates a daily ferry service for consumer goods, commodities, and freight products between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

The first pilot project saw one of Seaspan’s ferries, the Seaspan Reliant, run on 100% biodiesel for a month while transporting containers of goods across the Georgia Strait, as researchers at UBC monitored its emissions.

Battery electric-powered terminal trucks

The battery-electric powered terminal truck manufactured by Terberg Special Vehicles

The second pilot project kicked off in 2021 with the ordering of two battery-electric powered terminal trucks – the first by European manufacturer, Terberg, to be imported in North America – which will be tested as zero-carbon alternatives to trucks traditionally powered by diesel.

The two battery-electric powered terminal tractors will undergo testing at Seaspan’s Tilbury Marine Terminal on the Fraser River, after which the company will evaluate replacing its remaining 22 diesel-powered trucks with the battery-electric variety in order to curb fleet-wide emissions.

The trucks are expected to arrive by December 2021.