FortisBC provides $5 million to help build two of Western Canada’s first LNG marine vessels

SURREY, B.C. – ​FortisBC announced today that it will provide $5 million in incentive funding toward two new vessels for Seaspan Ferries that will be able to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The incentives were made possible following the creation of the Government of B.C.’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction regulation in 2012 when FortisBC announced the $62 million program for fleet operators to offset part of the cost for a natural gas engine over a diesel engine.

“Our government supports these incentives which decrease operating costs, support the province’s growing LNG sector and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett. “With the expansion of FortisBC’s Tilbury LNG facility now underway, I look forward to seeing more agreements like this in the months and years ahead.”

The funding agreement with Seaspan will result in the reduction of an estimated 5,450 metric tonnes per year of carbon emissions, the equivalent of taking more than 1,140 passenger cars off the road annually, because natural gas is cleaner burning than traditional marine diesel fuel. Seaspan has also agreed to a fuelling agreement of up to 200,000 gigajoules of LNG per year which will come from FortisBC’s Tilbury LNG facility in Delta.

“B.C. has more natural gas fuelled vehicles in our province as a result of this incentive program than anywhere else in Canada,” said Doug Stout, FortisBC Vice-President of Market Development and External Relations. “The funding for these two marine vessels helps add to that tally, and it’s further good news that Seaspan has chosen to get its LNG from FortisBC.”

In 2014, Seaspan Ferries began shipping LNG in ISO containers from FortisBC’s Tilbury facility for use by natural gas for transportation customers on Vancouver Island.

Seaspan is an association of Canadian companies involved in coastal marine transportation, shipdocking and ship escort, ship repair and shipbuilding services in Western North America. The two new 150 metre ferries will accommodate up to 59 truck trailers.

“Switching to LNG is a natural progression for us,” said Steve Roth, Seaspan Ferries Corporation Vice-President. “Since two of Seaspan’s core values are efficiency and care, we are extremely pleased that moving to LNG will both reduce fuel costs and provide environmental benefits. FortisBC provided the expertise to help us discover the best fuel alternative for our ferry fleet.”

To date, the incentive program has resulted in 400 natural gas vehicles on the road or vessels in the water, eliminating 38,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions annually, the equivalent of taking 8,000 vehicles off the road each year. To date, FortisBC has signed agreements for $28 million in incentive funding for land vehicles and marine vessels.

To meet increased market demand for LNG, FortisBC has broken ground on a $400-million expansion of its Tilbury LNG facility in Delta which will add 1.1 million gigajoules of LNG storage and approximately 34,000 gigajoules of liquefaction capacity per day. The existing Tilbury LNG facility has been in operation since 1971.

The additional volumes of natural gas for transportation moving through FortisBC’s pipeline system benefit all natural gas customers. Better year-round utilization of FortisBC’s infrastructure, especially during the summer months when heating requirements are reduced, helps to keep natural gas delivery rates stable.


Avista Announces $250,000 in 2014 Year-End Donations

Avista  today announced that it is making donations totaling $250,000 in the month of December to benefit 37 food banks, 21 community non-profit agencies, the Boys & Girls Club of Spokane County and The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund. The gifts bring the total value of grants and donations for 2014 to $1.7 million from both the Avista Foundation and Avista Corp.

In addition, the company built and donated in May the new Spokane Tribal Gathering Place at City Hall, valued at $2 million, and made a $6.5 million contribution to the Avista Foundation to sustain the community investment program into the future. Funds for Avista Corp. donations come from company profits. They are not included as a cost to customers in developing retail rates.

“Having a positive impact on our communities has always been a priority for Avista. This year, marking our 125th anniversary, it is especially meaningful to us to help support the community resources and organizations that make such a difference in the lives of our friends and neighbors,” said Avista Corp. Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer Scott Morris.”We have a legacy of community support that dates back to the founding of our company in 1889. We invest substantially in our communities because we care about those who live in the places we all call home. It’s simply the right thing for us to do.

“I’m very proud of our employees, as well,” Morris continued. “They give generously of their time, talent and treasure to the non-profit organizations in their own hometowns. As a group, they are consistently among the leading donors to local United Way organizations, and they average 50,000 hours of volunteerism each year.


2014 Year-End Donations: 

Energy assistance donations total $200,000

Twenty-one community service agencies in eastern Washington and northern Idaho will receive a total of $200,000 to make grants for energy assistance to qualifying Washington Avista customers who are in need this winter and who may have exhausted all other available energy assistance resources. The organizations receiving the donations are identified by Avista’s CARES representatives (Customer Assistance Referral and Evaluation Service). These reps are specially trained and work closest with our most vulnerable customers and the community agencies that provide support services.

Aging and Long Term Care SE Wash. Clarkston $  5,000
American Childhood Cancer Org. Spokane Valley $10,000
Audubon Park United Methodist Church Spokane $  3,000
Big Table Spokane $  7,500
Caritas Outreach Ministries Spokane $  5,000
Catholic Charities Spokane $10,000
Colville Volunteer Food & Resource Center Colville $12,000
Gritman Medical Center – Light a Candle*Immaculate Conception MoscowColville $  2,000$  4,000
New Hope Resource Center Colbert $10,000
Our Place Community Ministries Spokane $23,000
Providence Healthcare Foundation Spokane $10,000
St. Vincent DePaul Clarkston $12,000
Salvation Army of Lewiston* Lewiston, ID $  5,000
Salvation Army of Spokane Spokane $27,000
Scottish Rite Spokane $  5,000
Spokane Center for Independent Living Spokane $  2,500
Spokane Valley Partners Spokane Valley $27,000
The Greenhouse Community Center Deer Park $10,000
Transitions/Women’s Health Spokane $  5,000
Volunteers of America Spokane $  5,000
*Agencies serve customers who live in Washington  

Regional food banks receive over $33,000

For those with limited income, feeding their family can be one of the biggest challenges they face each month. Food banks in Washington, Idaho and Oregon will receive donations, either directly or through a distributor, for a total of $33,600 to help support the vital safety-net services they provide.

Through their buying power and relationships with food producers, the food banks are able to leverage donations like ours to bring several times their value to help stock the shelves for those in need.


Eastern WashingtonAddy Rescue Mission

Cheney Food Bank

Chewelah Food Bank

Colville Volunteer Food and Resource Center

Connell Food Bank

Kettle Falls Community Chest

Lincoln County Care and Share

Loon Lake Food Bank and Resource Center

Medical Lake Food Bank Association

Northport Food Bank

Northwest Harvest

Odessa Food Bank

Othello Food Bank

Our Place Community Ministries

Peaceful Valley Neighborhood Association

Ritzville Food Pantry

Second Harvest of the Inland Northwest

Spokane Valley Partners

Sprague Lamont 4H Club Food Bank

Valley Food Pantry

Warden Food Pantry

Washington Gorge Action Programs


North Idaho

ABC Community Food Bank

Bonner Community Food Center

Clark Fork Food Pantry

Jumpin’ Beans Mobile Food Bank

Post Falls Food Bank, Inc.

Priest River Food Bank

Rathdrum Community Food Bank

Spirit Lake Food Bank

West Bonner County Food Bank



Montana Food Bank Network


SE Washington and Palouse Area

Asotin County Food Bank Association

Community Action Center

Community Action Partnership

Sojourner’s Alliance

The Idaho Food Bank




Community Connection of Northeast Oregon

FISH of Roseburg

Klamath Lake Counties Food Bank

United Community Action Network

Special Donations: Two additional donations are being made in 2014
Boys & Girls Club of Spokane County               $  7,500

Through participation in the Avista Festive Sweater Generator
( Avista will contribute $1 to the Boys & Girls Club of
Spokane County by Dec. 31, 2014.


The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund          $10,000


About the Avista Foundation

The Avista Foundation was established in 2002 with the objective of making a difference in our communities in a positive and sustainable way. It is not funded from customers’ energy bills. Since its founding the Avista Foundation has made grants totaling more than $3 million. The foundation focuses its giving in the areas of:

·         education – K-12 education particularly in the fields of science, math and technology; and higher education including scholarships,

·         vulnerable and limited income populations – providing assistance to those on limited incomes and support for initiatives to reduce poverty, and

·         economic and cultural vitality – supporting projects that help communities and citizens to grow and prosper.

Join us for a Free Lunch & Learn on 12/11 in Olympia

Join the NWGA on Thursday, December 11 in Olympia, Washington for our final lunch and learn of 2014. We’ll be at the Association of Washington Business Headquarters discussing opportunities for the innovative use of natural gas, particularly small-scale LNG.

Lunch is provided, registration is free, and space is limited so sign up today at the following link:

Dan Kirschner, Executive Director, Northwest Gas Association will provide attendees with an update of the current natural gas outlook in the Pacific Northwest. Ian Burkheimer, Director of Business Development, Plum Energy will give an overview of the opportunities for development of small-scale Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a means of reducing fuel costs and environmental footprints. 

What:   Free NWGA Lunch & Learn

Where: Association of Washington Business

1414 Cherry St. SE

Olympia, WA 98501

When:  Thursday, December 11, 2014

Noon-1 pm

To Register:


About the Presenters:

Ian Burkheimer, Director of Business Development, is responsible for marketing, sales and relationship management for Plum Energy. He works with multiple domestic and international industries to develop strategic business development opportunities for Plum, introducing LNG solutions for mining, E&P, and many other off-grid customers. 

Dan Kirschner has been the Executive Director of the Northwest Gas Association (NWGA) since 2002. An expert on natural gas matters in the Pacific Northwest, Kirschner works to foster understanding among opinion leaders and informed decision-making by governing officials on issues related to natural gas in the region.