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The Ministry claims this will increase the market for natural gas in B.C.’s transportation sector by allowing utility companies to deliver natural gas transportation programs.

This includes offering incentives to transportation fleets which could use natural gas, such as buses, trucks and ferries.

Incentives would also be available for companies to build, own and operate compressed natural gas fuelling stations or liquefied natural has fuelling stations and provide training and upgrades to maintain facilities to safely maintain natural gas-powered vehicles.

According to the Ministry, such incentives will increase options and opportunities for the transportation industry to use natural gas – a cheaper and cleaner option than traditional fuels.

Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines says the use of natural gas can benefit B.C. in a variety of ways.

“It makes sense to develop a market for natural gas transportation here in B.C. by using out abundant natural gas reserve,” he argues. “This regulation will help us build our global leadership in clean transportation, bringing new jobs and more economic opportunities to province.”

Blair Lekstrom, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure also spoke about the new incentive program and how it will benefit the province as time progresses, especially with regards to transportation.

“The use of natural gas will be a big part of the future for the transportation industry,” he believes. “We are encouraging the use of this made-in-B.C. resource, which can help cut transportation costs in half.

He adds, “We are already seeing trucking companies moving to natural gas, and it is a part of B.C. Ferries’ long term vision, as well. Natural gas is the transportation fuel choice of the future.”

The new incentive program’s objectives include displacing high carbon fuel, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing natural gas fuelling infrastructure.

The regulation permits a utility to spend up to $62 million on vehicle and ferry incentives, up to $12 million on compressed natural gas fuelling stations and up to $30.5 million on liquefied natural gas stations, totalling $104.5 million.

In addition, the province is also offering direct grants of up to $2,500 to purchasers of qualifying CNG vehicles. This is being offered through the $14.3 million Clean Energy Vehicle Program, announced in November, 2011.

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