About natural gas

Natural gas distributed in Québec is composed of 95% methane, less than 4% ethane and nitrogen, and 1% carbon dioxide and propane. To reach the user, natural gas travels through different mains buried in the ground. An intricate network lies beneath cities, connecting homes, businesses and industries.
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Growing demand

The environmental benefits and competitiveness of natural gas compared to other forms of energy are contributing to its growing demand in all sectors. Prioritizing its use as a replacement of more polluting energies is a logical choice for the environment and for achieving Québec’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.
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Safe energy

Natural gas is not toxic and it is odourless in its natural state. An odorizer called mercaptan is added to natural gas to make it easy to detect in the case of a leak. Mercaptan gives it that "rotten egg" smell and makes it possible to detect at concentrations of less than 1% in the air.

In the open air, natural gas rises and rapidly dissipates since it is lighter than air. It is insoluble in water and does not contaminate it. It forms bubbles, rises to the surface and quickly disperses into the air.

Natural gas does not ignite easily. To burn, it must have a 5 to 15% concentration in the air (i.e. a lower range than that of gasoline or propane) and an ignition source must be present.
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Natural gas, part of everyday life

Millions of people enjoy the benefits of natural gas, which make it one of the most commonly used energy sources in the world today. From homes, restaurants and schools, to grocery stores, office buildings, hospitals and heavy industry, natural gas is part of Québecers’ day-to-day life.
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The only alternative to diesel for heavy transportation

The road transportation sector is the biggest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter in Québec, accounting for 43% of total emissions. Heavy vehicles using diesel emit 28% of this total. Natural gas has proven effective for road transportation through its cleaner combustion compared to diesel motors. A truck that runs on natural gas instead of diesel makes it possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25% as well as almost completely eliminate the emission of air pollutants. Not only is natural gas a safe choice, it cuts engine noise emissions by 10 decibels—which gets unanimous support. Worldwide, more than 20 million vehicles already run on natural gas.
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The Blue Road, a growing network of stations

Introduced in 2011, the Blue Road is the first public network of compressed and liquefied natural gas refuelling stations for Canada’s transportation industry. Some of the stations are located along the corridor of highways A-20/H-401, between Québec City and Toronto. As deployment of the Blue Road continues, compressed and liquefied natural gas fuelling points will be added in a strategic, flexible manner at various Québec and Ontario locations, in accordance with the market.
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The only fuel that meets environmental standards

Using liquefied natural gas as a fuel for ships allows to reach and surpass current environmental standards on atmospheric emissions. The use of LNG makes it possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25%, compared with marine diesel, in addition to almost completely eliminating fine particle emissions and other air pollutants. And since LNG is insoluble, it doesn’t pose a risk to the environment because if it is spilled it evaporates without contaminating the soil, water or wildlife. LNG motors are also quieter and produce less vibration, which is more respectful of marine life.

Remote areas are now less dependent on oil products

In Québec, industry is responsible for almost one third of greenhouse gas emissions. One of Gaz Métro’s solutions for fighting climate change is to encourage the use of natural gas by Québec industries. Those located in remote areas like Northern Québec and the Côte-Nord, which aren’t served by the gas network, can now look forward to a supply of LNG. When a plant uses natural gas instead of oil, it cuts its GHG emissions by up to 32%. And of note is that for many types of industrial processes, electricity cannot replace a thermal energy like oil or natural gas. This is why the possibility of using natural gas is a key factor in sustainable economic development.
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LNG : vector of sustainable development for Québec's mining sector

Energy costs account for about 30% of mining companies’ operating expenses, and using natural gas allows them to be competitive and continue operating in Québec. Replacing oil products with natural gas allows them to not only generate economic gains but also to considerably reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and minimize their environmental footprint. Natural gas has a number of applications: production of electricity, heating and mineral processing and transportation. Stornoway Diamonds Corporation was the first mining company in Québec to use LNG.
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Consume better and less: a priority for Gaz Métro

Gaz Métro is a pioneer in energy efficiency. We have implemented a Global Energy Efficiency Plan in the early 2000s. We are stepping up our efforts against energy waste by developing and presenting innovative and responsible energy efficiency solutions to our customers.
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Impressive results

Since 2001, Gaz Métro and many of its customers have helped carry out more than 111,000 energy efficiency projects. Their work has resulted in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 800,000 tonnes, which is equivalent to taking 191,000 vehicles off Québec’s roads this year.

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New avenues for natural gas

Natural gas is also available in other forms, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG), which can now replace diesel as a fuel for the heavy transportation and maritime transport industries. Now, businesses and establishments in remote areas not served by a pipeline network can access a natural gas supply via truck or boat. The development of organic matter also gives Québec access to vast reserves of renewable natural gas. This resource allows municipalities and other organizations to turn a profit on their wastes while reducing their environmental footprint.
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  • Renewable natural gas

    Producing renewable natural gas from organic matter.
  • Liquefied natural gas

    LNG is natural gas that changes from a gaseous to a liquid state.
  • Compressed natural gas

    CNG is compressed natural gas that can be used as fuel.

Gaz Métro, more than natural gas!

We believe diversity is key to the future of energy. This is why Gaz Métro is involved in developing solar and wind power and hydroelectricity.
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  • Wind power

    Investments in several wind farms in Québec and Vermont.
  • Solar power

    Solar farm, energy efficiency programs and other innovative projects.
  • Hydroelectricity

    Hydroelectricity production through our U.S. subsidiary.
  • Cow power

    Producing electricity takes an unexpected form in Vermont.