The "Blue Road" project - A Canadian first in the freight transportation industry

Date Posted: 2011-10-18

Robert Transport and Gaz Métro Transportation Solutions inaugurate Canada's first commercial liquefied natural gas station

BOUCHERVILLE, QC, Oct. 17, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, in the presence of Clément Gignac, the QuebecMinister of Natural Resources and Wildlife and Minister responsible for the Northern Plan, Pierre Moreau, theQuebec Minister of Transport and Nicole Ménard, the Quebec Minister of Tourism and Minister responsible of the Montérégie region, Claude Robert, President and CEO of Robert Transport, and Sophie Brochu, President and CEO of Gaz Métro, announced the inauguration of the first commercial liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuelling station inCanada along the "Blue Road." This station is an integral part of the LNG pilot project designed to fuel a fleet of heavy-duty trucks.


The "Blue Road"

The purpose of the "Blue Road" is to create Canada's first liquefied natural gas-fuelled freight transportation corridor along the 20/401 highway between the Quebec City area and the Greater Toronto Area. Every week, heavy-duty trucks make 48,000 trips along this corridor. More specifically, the project aims to replace diesel fuel with the cleaner alternative that is liquefied natural gas (LNG).


The project enjoys strong support from the Quebec government, which has put into place fiscal incentives for the procurement of heavy-duty trucks that run on LNG and established a $1,783,555 grant from the Bureau de l'efficacité et de l'innovation énergétiques of the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune (MRNF). This grant will be used to set up the infrastructure required to adapt and further develop this environmental technology designed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by freight transportation between Quebec and Ontario.


For Robert Transport, the first step will involve rolling out a fleet of 180 LNG-fuelled heavy-duty trucks. "Robert Transport hopes to continue to be an industry leader. That is why we feel it is critical to work toward a cleaner future, for the benefit of our customers, our employees, our shareholders and society as a whole. This project will help us be more competitive while still reducing the carbon footprint of our operations," said Claude Robert, President and CEO of Robert Transport.


In partnership with the Quebec government and Robert Transport, Gaz Métro Transportation Solutions (GMTS), a subsidiary of Gaz Métro, hopes to establish the technical and economic feasibility of LNG as an alternative fuel for a major fleet of heavy-duty trucks, even in Quebec's harsh weather conditions. Accordingly, Gaz Métro will make use of its liquefaction plant that has been operating in Montreal for more than 40 years. Three cryogenic storage tanks will supply the LNG for three refuelling sites located in Boucherville, Mississauga and the Quebec City area.


"Gaz Métro Transportation Solutions is dedicated to coming up with energy solutions that can be immediately applied in the transportation industry. Natural gas is a forward-looking environmental and economical solution for the trucking sector. We are proud to contribute to the adaptation and development of a new technology in Quebec," said Sophie Brochu, President and CEO of Gaz Métro.


Advantages of using natural gas in the transportation industry


Environmental advantages of natural gas
In terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Quebec, the transportation industry (road, maritime, rail, air) tops the list, having generated 43.3% of total emissions in 2008. Freight transportation represents an important segment to be targeted with respect to GHG reduction, since diesel-fuelled heavy-duty trucks in service in Quebec are responsible for 28% of the total emissions produced by the sector as a whole. As natural gas generates some 25% less GHGs than diesel, it may contribute to substantially reducing GHG emissions.


Outlook: A bridge toward renewable fuel
Natural gas-fuelled transportation has even more promising longer-term prospects. Vehicles that run on natural gas can use processed biomethane, a renewable natural gas generated by organic waste valorization. The use of biomethane could help reduce GHG emissions by roughly 85%, when compared with diesel.


Economic advantages of natural gas
Fuel is one of the trucking industry's biggest expenses, and natural gas is more economical than diesel. By using natural gas to fuel a part of its fleet, Robert Transport will not only be reducing its carbon footprint, it will also be cutting its operating costs.


About Robert Transport
Robert Transport is a leading carrier in Canada which has always been at the forefront of clean technology innovations in the trucking industry. Over the last decade, Robert Transport has worked to pioneer technologies which reduce green house gas emissions while simultaneously increasing fuel efficiency. As part of their unwavering commitment to the environment, Robert Transport has partnered with GazMétro to supply clean burning LNG to their alternative fuel vehicles. The use of alternative fuels is a key step to Robert Transport's goal of achieving 25% fewer emissions. TheQuebec Government is a proponent of these initiatives and has worked with the trucking industry to formulate policies that encourage the use of "green technologies." The parent company, Groupe Robert Inc., is a logistics solution provider to Fortune 1000 companies throughout North America. Founded in 1946 by Rosario Robert, the family owned company employs 2,600 people and has forged a special relationship with its financial partner, Solidarity Fund QFL.As a result, Groupe Robert has been continually strengthening its industry leadership since 1993. Robert Transport: We care. We take charge.


About Gaz Métro
With over $3.6 billion in assets, Gaz Métro is Quebec's leading natural gas distributor. Its 10,000-kilometre network serves 300 municipalities. Active in this regulated industry since 1957, Gaz Métro is the trusted energy provider of customers in Quebec and Vermont who choose natural gas for its competitive price, efficiency, comfort and environmental benefits. Gaz Métro is also active in the electricity distribution market and is involved in natural gas transportation and storage, as well as the development of projects in areas such as wind power generation, natural gas fuel for the transportation industry and biomethanation. Gaz Métro is committed to the satisfaction of its customers, partners (Gaz Métro inc. and Valener Inc.), employees and the communities in which it operates.


About Gaz Métro Transportation Solutions
Gaz Métro Transportation Solutions (GMTS) is a subsidiary of Gaz Métro, Quebec's leading natural gas distributor. GMTS was created to encourage the transportation industry to switch to natural gas, the only available alternative to diesel. Established in 2010, GMTS is committed to developing a market in Quebec for compressed and liquefied natural gas as a source of fuel. Natural gas is a more economical choice and generates approximately 25% less greenhouse gas emissions than diesel. It therefore has enormous potential for the transportation industry from a commercial, economic and environmental standpoint.


Image with caption: "Fuelling of a truck with liquefied natural gas (CNW Group/GAZ METRO)". Image available at:


Image with caption: "Canada's first commercial liquefied natural gas station (CNW Group/GAZ METRO)". Image available at: