The Canadian government has made a grant of $30 million available for the development of an LNG-fuelled tanker that will be up to 90 per cent quieter than traditional tankers.
The project will take place in partnership with Vancouver-based Teekay Shipping and is part of the Canada’s new Quiet Vessel Initiative, which aims to reduce underwater noise, protect the marine environment, and foster the development of quieter designs and technologies.
The Canadian government says that the move is recognition that marine species, particularly the Southern Resident killer whale, are being severely impacted by underwater vessel noise.
Acoustic disturbances can reduce their ability to find prey, navigate and communicate with each other – while also creating stress.
The low-emission and low-noise crude oil tanker will be equipped with the latest proven quiet technologies and powered by Canadian LNG.
It will have specific design targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent and reduce noise by up to 90 per cent, compared to conventional tankers.
“We take the protection of endangered marine species very seriously,” says Canada's transport minister, Marc Garneau.
“This initiative is a unique opportunity to advance low noise technology in a deep sea commercial fleet, and a key component of our long term plan to mitigate the impacts of shipping on the Southern Resident killer whale. It is an important step for Canada’s plan to decrease overall noise in the region.”
The funding for the tanker development will come from Canada's long term $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan.