Low-Emission Technology Initiative

The Low-Emission 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.

To date, the Low-Emission Technology Initiative has helped fund various pilot projects of low-carbon fuels and technologies in partnership with the province and industry partners across a range of port-related sectors, such as container trucking, terminal operations, harbor vessels and commercial ferries. These pilots are intended to accelerate the transition away from fossil-fuel-powered equipment at the Port of Vancouver by demonstrating the effectiveness of low-emission alternatives.

The Low-Emission Technology Initiative is one of the key ways the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is working towards its goal under the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy to phase out all port-related emissions by 2050, in support of the Government of Canada’s commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Low-emission 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 trucks 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.