What progress has DGSC made in recent years across Canada’s mining industry?
We take natural gas from the pipeline or from flared or abandoned wells to produce CNG or LNG. There has been an increasing push from various levels of government and the private sector for biogas and biomethane production, so we are also getting involved in renewable natural gas (RNG) projects.
We are nearing completion of our first CNG Station in the Saguenay region of Québec, where we have entered into a partnership to create Energie Tergasa with two local companies: Group Alfred Boivin, a local construction and transportation company, and RL Energies, a local distributor of fuels. Upon commissioning of the CNG Station, we expect to begin fueling trucks with CNG in September. Our first customer is operating seven class 8 trucks featuring the Cummins 12L natural gas engine and onboard CNG storage. We are also actively engaged with regional end users for CNG virtual pipeline delivery to supply them with natural gas; most of them are industrial and mining clients who are not currently connected to the natural gas pipeline.
How does DGSC reduce the cost of energy and emissions for clients?
The federal government’s Clean Fuel Standard has a reference point for the carbon intensities of the various fuels. In general, we offer an 18 to 30% reduction in carbon intensity at the point of combustion, depending on which fuel we are displacing - HFO, diesel or propane. Overall carbon intensity reduction depends on factors such as the nature of the gas supply; if we are compressing or liquefying the gas, the transportation distance of the CNG/LNG and the type of equipment consuming the natural gas at the client site.
In terms of fuel cost savings that we can offer, it also depends on factors previously mentioned and the fuel we are displacing, but generally speaking we are able to offer significant fuel cost savings.
Can you elaborate on the reliability of DGSC’s natural gas solutions?
Within DGSC’s partnership is Argentina-based Galileo Technologies, which manufactures their own compressor, the building block of their CNG and LNG technologies, allowing for vertical integration and superior quality control. When evaluating customer requirements, DGSC selects the most optimal technologies and equipment for our turnkey solutions to minimize carbon footprint and landed fuel cost for the customer.
What is DGSC’s growth strategy in the coming years and what potential do you see in the region?
Over the last years it has become increasingly difficult to build new pipelines in Canada, so our business model is based on investing in CNG and LNG infrastructure around the existing natural gas distribution network, whereby we can deploy our technologies directly on the pipeline as close to the end user as possible. This way, we reduce the transportation costs and associated emissions when delivering the CNG or LNG to the client.
In the last few years there have been issues with supply chain security, including rail blockades which affected the delivery of propane into eastern Canada. Supply chain risk for our solutions is low since natural gas is delivered into Québec via pipeline, a safer delivery method than rail and results in fewer emissions.
How is natural gas perceived by regulatory bodies in Canada in terms of its environmental impact?
Natural gas, primarily methane a greenhouse gas, is the cleanest burning fossil fuel and is not a petroleum-based product. Canada is in an energy transition phase from petroleum-based fuels to electric sources and/or hydrogen fuels. We see natural gas playing a key role in this transition in transportation and in industry. As biogas projects continue to come online in Canada, less fossil fuel-based natural gas will be consumed in favour of increasing volumes of biomethane / Renewable Natural Gas, which offers essentially Net Zero emissions. Although viewed somewhat differently across various provincial / territorial jurisdictions, the benefits of greenhouse gas and air pollutant reductions offered by natural gas compared to higher carbon petroleum-based fuels are being recognized by regulatory bodies in Canada. The future is bright for the use of natural gas in the Mining sector in Quebec and elsewhere across the country.