Safe shipping

Highly technological tankers will transport the natural gas that will be liquefied at the Énergie Saguenay complex to world markets. In total, 3 to 4 vessels per week will be supplied to the plan in grande-Anse, which represent between 150 and 200 ships per year.

Transport maritime du projet Énergie Saguenay

The transport of liquefied natural gas has an exemplary safety history

LNG has been transported for 60 years by sea.

In more than 60 years and 135,000 trips, no incidents have been reported that have led to a significant LNG leak, nor any harm to the public or the environment.


Ultramodern ships for the transport of LNG

The ships currently used to transport LNG are recent, state-of-the-art and specifically designed to ensure the efficient and safe transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG). In addition, GNL Québec will use vessels designed with unique specifications for safety and noise reduction in the Saguenay and the St. Lawrence rivers. Find out more about the ships that will transport Énergie Saguenay's LNG here


More than 550 vessels of this type worldwide

There are more than 550 ships of this type dedicated to the transport of LNG in the world and more than a hundred are currently under construction.


To prevent leaks and ensure increased safety, ships are fitted with:

  • A double hull
  • A cargo monitoring and leak detection system
  • Evaporative gas management systems
  • A fire protection and control system
  • Sophisticated and efficient communication, navigation and positioning systems

Liquefied natural gas is safe for marine flora and fauna


In the very unlikely event of a spill, liquefied natural gas cannot reach the seabed because it is lighter than water. It will evaporates almost instantly and completely. Unlike gasoline or petroleum, LNG will not pollute the marine environment.


GNL Quebec participates in the promotion of safe and reliable operating practices with SIGTTO

GNL Quebec has been a member of the SIGTTO (Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators) since July 2019. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of safe and reliable operating practices. LNG carriers and gas terminals around the world.


Experienced pilots to transport liquefied natural gas safely

In addition to specially trained crews, two certified pilots, members of the Corporation des Pilots du Bas-St-Laurent, experts in the St. Lawrence Seaway and navigation on the Saguenay, will pilot the tankers during each passage. between Les Escoumins and the liquefaction complex.

Des pilotes chevronnés pour transporter le gaz naturel liquéfié en toute sécurité

Safe maneuvers

GNL Québec mandated the Maritime simulation and ressource center to carry out studies and simulations of tankers in the seaway of the St. Lawrence and Saguenay rivers. In these studies, several emergency scenarios were evaluated to confirm that even in the event of a major breakdown, it is possible to remain in safe control of the vessel.



Simulation du transport maritime de GNL du projet Énergie Saguenay


Although not required, the tanker is accompanied in its transit through the Saguenay by a tug in order to increase the level of safety in the event of a major breakdown or breakage. In order to limit noise emissions, the tug is attached and pulled by the tanker. It can thus reduce its power.

Once at the quay, 2 additional tugs come to assist the tanker with docking and undocking maneuvers.

Harmonious coexistence between LNG ships and users of the Saguenay waterway

Cohabitation between LNG ships and other users of the Saguenay waterway is completely possible and safe.

The width of the Saguenay is sufficient to allow commercial vessels to navigate its center and pass or pass other ships, excursion boats and pleasure craft safely, without having to approach cliffs. Although the Saguenay is wide and deep enough to meet and overtake other commercial vessels, the pilots of the Corporation des Pilotes du Bas-St-Laurent plan the transits in order to avoid these maneuvers at all times in the section between Pointe Crêpe and Ile Saint-Louis. Establishing a meet and exceed policy is a recommendation that was made by GNLQ as part of the Termpol process.

In consideration of other users such as pleasure boaters and excursion boats, an awareness and communication campaign will be put in place before the start of operations. In addition, the schedule of vessels will be made available to parties who request it.

Let us also recall the advisory committees in place, in particular the monitoring committees with the First Nations, the extended advisory committee dealing with maritime issues and the round table on the tourism industry. Once the final logistics study has been completed and the navigation procedures and timetables have been completed, they will be shared through these committees and the stakeholders involved before the start of operations in order to submit them for consultation and to modify and adapt them if possible.


Highlights on the Saguenay waterway:

  • It is wider and much deeper than the northern channel of the St. Lawrence, where an average of 25 vessels circulate per day.
  • On average, less than 5 ships per week circulate there.

The waterway on the Saguenay is three times wider and 10 times deeper than the north channel of the St. Lawrence. It is an ideal waterway for accommodating ships.


Did you know?

It is perfectly safe to cross an LNG tanker and, contrary to popular belief, no regulations prohibit the crossing of an LNG tanker on a watercourse like the Saguenay River.


Consultation and collaboration for GNL Québec and the Saguenay Fjord

The GNL Québec team is aware of the importance of the Saguenay Fjord as a major waterway, but also as a historical, cultural, environmental, tourist and economic gem, as well as its richness in terms of wildlife biodiversity and marine.


The establishment of an enlarged advisory committee for marine transportation of LNG on the Saguenay

GNL Quebec has chosen to include stakeholders interested in maritime transport to join the advisory committee on the natural gas liquefaction complex already in place. This extended committee deals with issues that are specific to navigation in a clear and transparent manner. Remember that the committee is a privileged communication channel for informing stakeholders of the progress of the project and for openly discussing concerns with a view to improving the project.

To learn more about the enlarged committee on maritime transport, it's here.


The Énergie Saguenay project will be designed in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. GNL Québec, in accordance with its values, is committed to ensuring a harmonious coexistence and compatible practices between its activities and the activities that already take place in the Saguenay Fjord and in the St. Lawrence Seaway.





In accordance with its values ​​and its corporate commitments, GNL Quebec wishes to be a leader in its field in terms of environmental protection and in terms of commitment to its host community. GNL Québec therefore submitted the Énergie Saguenay project to the TERMPOL review process, overseen by Transport Canada.



Transport Canada chairs the TERMPOL or Technical Review Process of Marine Terminal Systems and Transshipment Sites. The review process assesses the risks associated with the movement of tankers to, from and around Canada's marine terminals. Those involved in the construction and operation of a marine or gas terminal request a review.

The examination covers:

  • the risks to navigation associated with the establishment and operation of marine terminals intended for large tankers;
  • the safety of tankers entering Canadian waters, navigating in channels, approaching mooring docks and loading or unloading oil or gas.