GE Capital, Canada and Gaz Métro Transport Solutions (GMTS), a subsidiary of Gaz Métro, announced today the signing of a strategic agreement that will facilitate the trucking industry’s adoption of natural gas as a fuel in Eastern Canada. GE Capital has been providing wholesale and retail financing to the country’s commercial trucking sector for 35 years. Since its creation in 2010, GMTS has become a leader in the alternative fuels space in Quebec, both for the advisory role it provides to companies and for its deployment of natural gas refueling stations.
Under this agreement, fleet operators will work with GMTS for natural gas supply and purchase and, separately, with GE Capital to secure loans or leases for natural gas vehicles (NGVs). NGVs that are eligible under this agreement use either compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG).
“As someone with nearly a decade of experience in the transportation industry, I understand how critical it is for fleet operators to reduce their fuel costs. To remain competitive, they need to cut 3%-5% annually just to keep up with the market,” said Véronique Haché, strategic initiative leader for natural gas vehicles at GE Capital. “Transitioning to natural gas is a smart way to diversify their fuel portfolios and reduce those costs. Through this agreement, we’re giving trucking company leaders the financial motivation to make the shift from diesel to nat-gas.”
"This agreement reinforces GMTS’s turn-key approach by adding a financial partner to accompany the fleet operators in their transition to natural gas," said Luc Génier, president of the board of directors of GMTS. "We are confident that combining our respective expertise will have a positive effect on the adoption of natural gas as a fuel for the trucking industry in Eastern Canada."
Some other important drivers of the transition to natural gas:
• Fuel is one of the highest costs in the trucking industry, amounting to as much as 40% of a trucking company’s expenses. Moreover, natural gas can cost up to 30% less than diesel, and according to the International Energy Agency, this gap should remain for many years to come.
• Natural gas engines allow trucking companies to reduce their environmental footprint because natural gas emits up to 25% less greenhouse gas (GHG) than diesel.
• The transportation sector is the largest emitter of GHG in Quebec, amounting to 44.7% of the province’s total emissions, according to the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change. More than one-third of these emissions can be attributed to merchandise road transportation with its heavy-duty diesel-powered vehicles, it has said.
The Blue Road
Introduced by GMTS and launched in 2011, the Blue Road is the first LNG fuelling stations network in Canada. The Blue Road currently includes five fuelling stations in total, including three public stations in Lévis (QC), Cornwall (ON) and Sainte-Julie (QC). A fourth station to be open in Rivière-du-Loup (QC) over the next months will continue the route towards Gaspesie and the Eastern provinces.
In response to the market's enthusiasm for natural gas as a fuel, many private and public CNG refueling sites have also emerged in recent years, paralleling the Blue Road.
About Gaz Métro Transport Solutions (GMTS)
Gaz Métro Transport Solutions (gazmetrost.com), an affiliate of Gaz Métro, was created in 2010 to encourage the transportation industry to switch to natural gas, a more economic and cleaner alternative to diesel in heavy transportation. GMTS is committed to developing a market for CNG and LNG as sources of fuel. GMTS offers turn-key solutions to fleet owners to accompany them throughout their transition projects using natural gas as a source of fuel. GMTS introduced and launched the Blue Road in 2011 and has become since a leader in the alternative fuels space in Quebec, both for the advisory role it provides to companies and for its deployment of refueling stations.
About Gaz Métro
With more than $6 billion in assets, Gaz Métro (gazmetro.com) is a leading energy provider. It is the largest natural gas distribution company in Quebec, where its network of over 10,000 km of underground pipelines serves more than 300 municipalities and more than 195,000 customers. Gaz Métro is also present in Vermont, producing electricity and distributing electricity and natural gas to meet the needs of more than 305,000 customers. Gaz Métro is actively involved in the development and operation of innovative, promising energy projects, including natural gas as fuel and liquefied natural gas as a replacement for higher emission-producing energies, the production of wind power, and the development of biomethane. Gaz Métro is a major energy sector player that takes the lead in responding to the needs of its customers, regions and municipalities, local organizations and communities while also satisfying the expectations of its Partners (Gaz Métro inc. and Valener) and employees.
About GE Capital
With 16 offices throughout Canada, GE Capital (gecapital.ca) offers a wide variety of financial products and services to address commercial financing and fleet management needs in many phases of a business' lifecycle. From equipment finance to working capital and growth financing to large asset-based and restructuring loans, we apply our 30 years of experience in the Canadian market and wealth of industry expertise to develop custom solutions for your company. Some of the industries in which we specialize include transportation, construction, manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, mining, energy, wholesale, retail, and restaurant and hotel franchise financing.
GE Capital offers customers around the globe an array of financial products, services and insights to help them grow their businesses.
GE (ge.com) imagines things others don’t, builds things others can’t and delivers outcomes that make the world work better. GE brings together the physical and digital worlds in ways no other company can. In its labs and factories and on the ground with customers, GE is inventing the next industrial era to move, power, build and cure the world.