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Provincial and Territorial Energy Profiles – Quebec
Figure 1: Electricity Generation by Fuel Type (2017)
Figure 2: Electricity Capacity and Primary Fuel Sources Map
Source and Description:
NEB, Natural Resources Canada
This map shows electricity generation facilities in Quebec. Facilities are shown by capacity and by primary fuel source.
PDF version [1960 KB]
Figure 3: Crude Oil Infrastructure Map
Source and Description:Source:
This map shows all major crude oil pipelines, rail lines, and refineries in Quebec.
PDF version [607 KB]
Figure 4: Natural Gas Infrastructure Map
Source and Description:
This map shows all major natural gas pipelines in Quebec.
PDF version [923 KB]
Figure 5: End-Use Demand by Sector (2016)
Source and Description:
This pie chart shows end-use energy demand in Quebec by sector. Total end-use energy demand was 1 741 PJ in 2016. The largest sector was industrial at 39% of total demand, followed by transportation (at 30%), residential (at 21%), and lastly, commercial (at 10%).
Figure 6: End-Use Demand by Fuel (2016)
Source and Description:
This figure shows end-use demand by fuel type in Quebec in 2016. Refined petroleum products accounted for 720 PJ (41%) of demand, followed by electricity at 611 PJ (35%), natural gas at 254 PJ (15%), biofuels at 142 PJ (8%), and other at 14 PJ (2%).
Note: "Other" includes coal, coke, and coke oven gas.
Figure 7: GHG Emissions by Sector
Source and Description:
This stacked column graph shows GHG emissions in Quebec by sector every five years from 1990 to 2016 in MT of CO2e. Total GHG emissions have decreased in Quebec from 87 MT of CO2e in 1990 to 77 MT of CO2e in 2016.
- Quebec does not have any commercial crude oil production.
Refined Petroleum Products (RPPs)
- Two large refineries currently operate in Quebec with a combined capacity of 402 thousand barrels per day (Mb/d): Suncor in Montreal and Valero in Lévis, near Quebec City. Suncor has a capacity of 137 Mb/d and Valero has a capacity of 265 Mb/d.
- Supply for Quebec’s refineries prior to 2013 was a mix of crude oil from eastern Canada and offshore imports from Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. After 2013, use of crude oil from western Canada and the United States (U.S.) began increasing because of higher crude-by-rail deliveries, changes to pipeline infrastructure, and higher production in the U.S.
Natural Gas/Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs)
- There is no natural gas production or field production of NGLs in Quebec.
- In 2011, Quebec banned hydraulic fracturing in the St. Lawrence Lowlands while a study on fracturing’s safety was conducted. A law was passed in 2013 that kept the ban in place until a new law governing oil and gas exploration in the province was passed. In 2016, Quebec legislature passed Bill 106, which created the Petroleum Resources Act and essentially lifted the fracturing ban.
- In 2017, the Quebec government stopped oil and gas exploration on Anticosti Island due to concerns surrounding environmental risks and economic viability.
- Quebec’s marketable natural gas resource has been assessed by the Geological Survey of Canada at 7 trillion cubic feet.
- Small volumes of propane and butane are produced by refineries in Quebec.
Electricity and Renewables
- In 2017, Quebec generated 212.2 terawatt hours (TW.h) of electricity (Figure 1), which is approximately one-third of total Canadian generation. Quebec is the largest producer of electricity in Canada and has a generating capacity of 45 402 megawatts (MW).
- With over 45 036 MW of installed capacity, hydroelectric stations generate about 96% of Quebec’s electricity. This includes Canada’s largest power plant, the 5 616 MW Robert-Bourassa facility in northern Quebec. Another major hydroelectric station is currently under construction on the La Romaine River in Côte-Nord. When fully completed, it will have a capacity of 1 550 MW. La Romaine-3 (395 MW) came online in 2017. It will be followed by La Romaine-4 (245 MW) in 2020.
- Wind is the 2nd largest source of electricity generation in Quebec. In 2017, wind capacity reached 3 882 MW and accounted for 4% of generation. The 225 MW Nicolas-Riou wind farm was commissioned in 2018.
- Other sources of electricity generation include natural gas (mainly for peak winter demand), diesel (for power in remote communities), and biomass.
- Hydro-Québec generates most of the electricity in the province. Independent power producers operate several smaller hydroelectric plants as well as all the biomass and wind facilities.
Energy Transportation and Trade
Crude Oil and Liquids
- Quebec receives crude oil by Enbridge’s Line 9, by rail, and by tanker (Figure 2). Quebec can also receive crude oil by the Portland-Montreal pipeline, but throughputs on the pipeline have been very low since 2016.
- Enbridge Line 9 has been delivering crude oil from Sarnia, Ontario to Montreal since its reversal became operational in December 2015. The line has a capacity of 300 Mb/d and transports a combination of oil from western Canada and the U.S. Midwest.
- In 2017, deliveries of imported and eastern Canadian crude oil on the fell to an average 11 Mb/d, approximately 5% of its capacity.
- There are three rail terminals in Quebec capable of receiving crude oil shipments, including one at each of the Suncor and Valero refineries, and one at Sorel-Tracy. These facilities have a combined capacity to receive approximately 160 Mb/d of crude oil.
- Quebec receives crude oil via tankers arriving at Montreal and Lévis.
- The Trans-Northern Pipeline delivers approximately 178 Mb/d of RPPs, including gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel, and heating fuel from Montreal to markets in Ontario.
- Valero’s Saint-Laurent Pipeline has a capacity of 100 Mb/d and delivers RPPs from the Valero refinery in Lévis to a distribution terminal in east Montreal.
- The Trans-Quebec and Maritimes (TQM) pipeline connects to the TransCanada Mainline at the Ontario border near Ottawa. TQM transports natural gas for use in Quebec as well as to three export points: East Hereford, Philipsburg, and Napierville. These export points connect to the Portland Natural Gas Transmission System, the Vermont Gas System, and the North Country Pipeline, respectively, and supplies gas to several U.S. states (Figure 3).
- Historically, Quebec was a consumer of western Canadian natural gas. More recently, growing gas production in the U.S., reversal of export points in Ontario, and additional interconnects between Ontario and Quebec, have enabled higher deliveries of U.S. gas into Quebec.
- Énergir, formerly Gaz Métro, distributes gas to approximately 300 municipalities on over 11 000 kilometres (km) of pipelines. Enbridge Gazifère operates 931 km of pipelines and serves the Outaouais region. Energir and Gazifère are provincially regulated by the Régie de l’énergie.
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
- Énergir has operated a small-scale liquefaction, storage, and regasification plant east of Montreal since 1971. To meet growing demand for LNG in the road and maritime transportation sector, Énergir expanded the plant’s capacity in 2017 from 3.0 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per year to 9.0 Bcf per year. The expanded plant will also serve remote mining and industrial centres, as well as storage facilities in New England.
- In 2015, the NEB approved a 25-year export licence [Folder 2587030] for Stolt LNGaz for volumes of up to 80 MMcf/d. The project has also received provincial government approvals. A final investment decision has not yet been made on the project, which includes a proposed liquefaction terminal near Bécancour.
- In 2017, Quebec’s net electricity interprovincial and international outflows were 4.9 TW.h. Under long-term contracts, Hydro-Québec has access to almost all the output of the 5 428 MW Upper Churchill Falls hydroelectric station in Labrador until 2041.
- Quebec also trades with electricity markets in the U.S. Northeast. In 2016, Quebec was the largest exporter of electricity to the U.S. of all Canadian provinces.
- Hydro-Québec operates 34 272 km of transmission lines and 116 258 km of distribution lines. Fifteen interconnections link Quebec’s electricity system with systems in Ontario, New Brunswick, and the U.S. Northeast.
Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions
Total Energy Consumption
- End-use demand in Quebec was 1 741 petajoules (PJ) in 2016. The largest sector for energy demand was industrial at 39% of total demand, followed by transportation at 30%, residential at 21%, and commercial at 10% (Figure 5). Quebec’s total energy demand was the 3rd largest in Canada, and the 10th largest on a per capita basis.
- RPPs were the largest fuel type consumed in Quebec, accounting for 720 PJ, or 41% of the total. Electricity and natural gas accounted for 611 PJ (35%) and 254 PJ (15%), respectively (Figure 6).
Refined Petroleum Products
- The majority of the gasoline consumed in Quebec is refined in the province. However, some gasoline is imported from the U.S East Coast and Europe, or transferred from the Maritimes.
- Quebec is the 2nd largest market in Canada for RPPs, after Ontario. Total 2017 demand for RPPs in Quebec was 369 Mb/d, or 20% of total Canadian RPP demand. Of Quebec’s total demand, 167 Mb/d was for motor gasoline and an estimated 89 Mb/d was for diesel.
- Quebec’s per capita RPP consumption in 2017 was 2 554 litres (14.4 barrels), or 11% below the national average of 2 886 litres per capita.
- In 2017, Quebec consumed an average of 591 MMcf/d of natural gas. Quebec's demand represented 7% of total Canadian demand for natural gas in 2017.
- Quebec’s largest consuming sector for natural gas was the industrial sector, which consumed 332 Bcf/d in 2017. The commercial and residential sectors consumed 197 MMcf/d and 62 MMcf/d, respectively.
- In 2016, annual electricity consumption per capita in Quebec was 20.8 megawatt hours (MW.h). Quebec ranked 1st in Canada for per capita electricity consumption and consumed 40% more than the national average. This is largely due to the presence of some industries, such as aluminium smelters, which rely on large amounts of low-cost electricity. The majority of residents in Quebec also use electricity to heat their homes.
- Quebec’s largest consuming sector for electricity in 2016 was industrial at 81.4 TW.h. The residential and commercial sectors consumed 65.6 TW.h and 22.4 TW.h, respectively. Quebec’s electricity demand has declined 4% since 2005.
- Quebec’s GHG emissions in 2016 were 77.3 megatonnes (MT) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).Footnote 1 Quebec’s emissions have declined 11% since 1990.
- Quebec’s emissions per capita are the lowest in Canada at 9.5 tonnes CO2e – 51% below the Canadian average of 19.4 tonnes per capita.
- The largest emitting sectors in Quebec are transportation at 41% of emissions, heavy industries (including smelting, cement, and chemicals) at 26%, and buildings (residential and commercial) at 14% (Figure 7).
- Quebec’s GHG emissions from the oil and gas sector in 2016 were 2.4 MT CO2e. Of this total, 0.2 MT were attributable to transmission and 2.2 MT were attributable to petroleum refining and natural gas distribution.
- Virtually all of the electricity produced in Quebec comes from renewable sources. In 2016, Quebec’s power sector generated 0.3 MT CO2e emissions, which represents 0.4% of Canada’s GHG emissions from power generation.
- La Régie de l’énergie du Quebec
- Quebec Oil and Gas Association
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