Kitimat LNG Proposes Third Train For Project

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) must decide whether a federal environmental assessment is required for the proposed Kitimat LNG expansion project, located at Bish Cove, near Kitimat, British Columbia.

To help inform this decision, the agency is seeking comments from the public and Indigenous groups on the project and its potential effects on the environment, as described in KM LNG Operating General Partnership's summary of the project description.

Substitution request

In addition, the Government of British Columbia has requested that the federal environmental assessment process be substituted to the province. This means the provincial government would conduct the environmental assessment of the project on behalf of the agency, and would gather the information needed for the minister of environment and climate change to make an environmental assessment decision under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.

The agency is also seeking comments from the public and Indigenous groups on this request.

The project

The proponent, KM LNG Operating General Partnership, is proposing the Kitimat LNG expansion project at Bish Cove within the District of Kitimat and on Haisla Nation reserve land. The KLNG expansion project is a 50/50 joint venture between Chevron Canada Limited and Woodside Energy International (Canada) Limited.

The Kitimat LNG project has been previously authorized to be developed, operated, and decommissioned at the Bish Cove site. The KLNG project includes a LNG plant, marine terminal, power line connecting natural gas pipeline, condensate return pipeline, access road, and the use of existing shipping routes in B.C. coastal waters. The KLNG project includes the production, storage, and loading of LNG for marine transportation to overseas markets.

Part of the Bish Cove site is on Bees Indian Reserve (IR) No. 6. All project components (including the LNG plant and storage facility, which are on Bees IR No. 6) were assessed through federal review.

Provincial Environmental Assessment (EA) Certificate E06-01 was issued in early 2006, covering those KLNG project components located outside of Bees IR No. 6. The EAC E06-01 was amended in 2009 to include a project update for the liquefaction of five million tonnes per annum (mtpa). By October 2010, the KLNG project was planned to include two LNG trains, for a total processing capacity of 10 mtpa. The Haisla Nation approved the lease of Bees IR No. 6 to KM LNG in November 2010, and the lease was subsequently issued by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) now Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC). The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency subsequently determined in 2013 that no further federal EA review was required for an increase in LNG processing capacity from five to 10 mtpa.

The KLNG expansion project comprises the Kitimat LNG foundation project, which consists of two LNG processing trains, and a potential expansion (a third LNG train expansion) that includes an additional LNG processing train (three trains in total) LNG tank and LNG loading berth on the KLNG foundation project site.

The proponent is proposing a preferred development concept, which includes an advanced compact module design that enables low-cost operation, high facility efficiency and availability with the lowest physical footprint per unit of LNG production, relative to other recent and proposed comparable global LNG project norms.

 In addition, the development concept includes an all-electric plant powered by clean, renewable hydroelectricity from BC Hydro, and will set the global standard for the lowest emissions intensity of any large-scale LNG facility. This new compact module, all-electric drive (Compact E-Drive) design has led to step change improvements, including substantial reductions in LNG unit costs, execution risk, and emissions, and more effective utilization of the Bish Cove site. The proposed Compact E-Drive Design has increased the combined two LNG train output capacity from 10 to 12 mpta. In this design, approximately 212 cubic metres/d of condensate product will be recovered from the feed gas and piped off site for export via rail, which is an increase of 35.6 cubic metres/d over the 10 mtpa design.

The third LNG train expansion involves the future addition of a third LNG train on the existing KLNG foundation project site, with supporting utilities and infrastructure, to achieve a total output capacity of 18 mtpa. The proposed Third LNG train expansion will result in an increase in condensate product export from approximately 212 to 318 cubic metres/d.

The CEAA has advised the proponent that the increase in project capacity from 10 to 18 mtpa (plus 80 per cent) constitutes a designated activity under section 15(d) of the Regulations Designating Physical Activities as “an expansion of a facility for the liquefaction, storage or regasification of liquefied natural gas that would result in an increase in the liquefied natural gas processing … capacity of 50 per cent or more …”.

Accordingly, this project description is being submitted for screening under CEAA 2012 to determine if a further federal EA is required for the Kitimat LNG expansion project.

Additionally, the potential effects of the proposed changes from the previously provincially approved project are being assessed in support of an application to amend the provincial EA certificate that authorizes the development of project components located on provincial Crown land (EAC E06-01 Amendment #3). It is anticipated that federal agencies will be among those participating on a technical working group to be established for the review of EAC E06-01 Amendment #3.