Tanker operator Teekay and the Canadian government have announced plans to develop vessels that reduce greenhouse gases and noise by significant amounts to protect marine mammals.
Marc Garneau, Canada’s Minister of Transport, announced that Transport Canada is taking an important step in supporting the development of a new vessel design to decrease underwater noise, which will help in the recovery of Canada’s endangered, iconic whale populations.
The Government of Canada is committing to invest up to C$30 million to support the development of the world’s first low-noise and low-emissions tanker, working toward an Agreement in Principle with Vancouver-based Teekay Shipping (Canada). Working with Teekay provides access to private sector expertise and capital to deploy new technologies on low-emission and low-noise crude oil tankers operating in Canadian waters.
The Government of Canada recognises that marine species, including the Southern Resident killer whale, are impacted by underwater vessel noise. Acoustic disturbances can reduce their ability to find prey, effectively navigate, and communicate with each other, while also creating stress. The Government is taking action, through the Quiet Vessel Initiative, to reduce underwater noise, protect the marine environment and foster the development of new technology, quiet vessel designs, and operational practices to reduce underwater noise.
This world-leading low-emission and low-noise crude oil tanker will be equipped with the latest proven quiet technologies and powered by Canadian liquefied natural gas. To limit emissions and ensure the best outcome for marine life, the vessel will have specific design targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% and reduce noise by up to 90%, compared to conventional tankers.
The agreement in principle with Teekay aligns with the Government’s promise to work with the shipping industry to develop and deploy the best available technologies and practices. Working together will support a safe, clean and efficient marine transportation system that improves marine safety and responsible shipping, and reduces emissions to improve air quality, while supporting economic growth. This reaffirms the Government’s commitment to building a Canada where protecting the environment and growing the economy go hand-in-hand.
“Our Government takes the protection of endangered marine species very seriously. This initiative is a unique opportunity to advance low noise technology in a deep-sea commercial fleet, and a key component of the long term plan to mitigate the impacts of shipping on the Southern Resident killer whale. This is an important step for Canada’s plan to decrease overall noise in the region as findings are evaluated, shared broadly and applied to other vessels,” said Garneau.
Kenneth Hvid, President & CEO, Teekay Corporation said, “We’re excited about the opportunity to partner with the Government of Canada in the development of environmentally leading marine shipping technology. As the largest marine shipping company in Canada, headquartered in Vancouver, we are uniquely aware of the local needs and challenges requiring new industry solutions. This is an opportunity to bring Canada to the forefront of safe and environmentally responsible shipping, not only here at home but around the globe.”