What is LNG?

Natural gas is the single largest form of energy used in Canadian homes, with over 6 million homeowners using natural gas to heat their homeshot water and cook meals. Natural gas has been a part of Canada’s energy mix since it was first discovered in New Brunswick in 1859. Today about 30 percent of Canada’s entire energy needs are met by natural gas. 

Liquefied natural gas, or LNG, is natural gas that is cooled to minus 160 degrees Celsius. At this temperature, it becomes a clear, colorless, odorless liquid.  

Liquefying reduces the volume of natural gas by more than 600 times – similar to reducing the volume of a beach ball to the volume of a ping-pong ball. Liquefied natural gas can be shipped by carriers to countries that are looking to reduce their emissions by switching from coal to natural gas. Natural gas has half the carbon emissions of coal. It also doesn’t contribute to air pollution and smog. That’s why more than 40 countries around the world now import natural gas as LNG at over 90 receiving terminals, most which are located near major city centres. 

LNG is not corrosive nor toxic. When it’s not kept at -160 degrees Celsius, it turns into a gas again. LNG does not mix with water or soil. If released, it dissipates into the air. 

LNG is also being used in Canada to reduce emissions in the transportation sector. Truck fleets and the shipping industry are switching to LNG from diesel and heavy marine fuel to help reduce emissions and cut air pollution. In British Columbia, BC Ferries has switched several vessels from diesel to natural gas to help reduce their emissions and help reduce local air pollution.