WHAT IS LNG?
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas cooled to -162°C, converting it into a liquid so it can be safely stored and economically transported for use as a low-carbon fuel.
- LNG is odourless, colourless, non-toxic, and non-corrosive – it cannot burn or explode in its liquid state.
- LNG is transported by truck to an LNG depot, and is then heated using a vaporizer, returning the liquid to conventional natural gas.
- More than 100 natural gas distribution systems in North America successfully use LNG where pipeline capacity is restricted or unavailable.
- Ontario is joining British Columbia, Quebec, and Alaska in using LNG for heating and power generation in northern areas and as a low-carbon fuel for transportation.
WHAT DOES AN LNG FACILITY DO?
Small-scale LNG facilities use proven, safe technology to liquefy, store, and vaporize LNG.
- A liquefaction facility takes natural gas from a pipeline, refrigerates the gas to form a liquid at low pressure, and then loads the LNG into insulated containers for delivery to customers.
- An LNG depot stores LNG locally in insulated tanks, heats LNG to return the liquid to conventional natural gas, and injects natural gas into a distribution system.
- LNG depots are not bulk storage terminals and hold only small volumes of LNG at any one time.
LNG provides industries and communities with the economic and environmental benefits of natural gas without requiring a pipeline.
- LNG is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel for isolated industry and communities, producing fewer emissions and pollutants than diesel, fuel oil, and propane.
- LNG is kept cold at low pressure in insulated containers, like a thermos bottle, making storage and transportation exceptionally safe and secure.
- In the unlikely case of a spill, LNG will vaporize into the atmosphere and dissipate quickly, unlike petroleum products that tend to sink into the ground and threaten wildlife.
- One truck trailer of LNG can deliver three to five times more energy than a trailer of compressed natural gas (CNG).
WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED BENEFITS?
LNG will lower energy costs and reduce GHG emissions for businesses, government institutions, and residents, helping Ontario reach its economic development and climate change goals.
- Industrial and commercial customers can cut operating costs and GHG emissions, improving their competitiveness and economic viability.
- Residential customers can save $1,000 to $2,500 annually on their heating bill – money that can be reinvested in the community.
- Access to LNG will enable fuel-switching from diesel to cleaner-burning natural gas for trucking, rail, and marine shipping.
- New natural gas infrastructure contributes to the local economy through the creation of construction jobs, procurement of materials and services, and new full-time employment.
WHAT ABOUT SAFETY?
Natural gas liquefaction and distribution facilities are designed, built, and operated to strict engineering and environmental standards to protect public safety and preserve the environment.
- Natural gas has been used in Ontario for more than 100 years, and stringent safety standards and regulations govern all aspects of the supply/delivery system.
- LNG facilities are designed to meet or exceed the national safety standards, and are inspected by provincial agencies to ensure code compliance.
- Technical experts monitor systems continuously, helping to ensure safe and effective delivery of natural gas at all times.
- Trucks transport LNG more than 15 million kilometres a year along North American highways, with an admirable safety record.
- Local first-responders are trained before LNG production and natural gas delivery begin.