Major Milestones On Tap For LNG In B.C. This Year

LNG storage tank construction, LNG Canada site. Photo credit: LNG Canada.

While one LNG project in British Columbia looks to clear a key hurdle in its path to development, another is taking construction into high gear.

Cedar LNG submitted its environmental assessment certificate application, which is now in the application review stage, a period expected to take 180 days.

The project is led by Haisla Nation, in partnership with Pembina Pipeline Corporation.

A Cedar LNG spokesperson says decisions on the environmental assessment by provincial and federal government ministers are anticipated in the fourth quarter of this year. A decision on final investment is expected in 2023.

Subject to additional factors, such as regulatory and other approvals, Cedar LNG is projected to be in-service in 2027.

The planned 65-metre by 320-metre floating facility will have the capacity to liquefy 400 mmcf/d of natural gas.

“This translates to about three million tonnes per annum of LNG,” said Lara Taylor, environmental assessment lead for Cedar LNG, during a virtual information session held on March 16.

In comparison, she added, LNG Canada, which is now under construction, is expected to see a capacity of about 26 million tonnes per annum of LNG.

Moreover, Cedar LNG should see 40 to 50 LNG carriers per year, surpassing Woodfibre LNG’s projected 40 carriers per year.

“What that translates to is one LNG carrier about every seven to 10 days,” said Taylor.

LNG, she added, has an “exceptional safety record.”

“There are multiple layers of control and there are lots of safety systems in place for LNG. There are codes and standards that apply, so there are European standards, in Canada we have CSA Z276 that governs LNG.

“Because LNG is a global industry, the LNG carriers and all of that really need to meet the suite of all the different codes and standards that exist. You get a very high safety standard because those carriers go between different jurisdictions and need to meet the safety standards everywhere effectively.”

The primary components of the Cedar LNG project include a floating LNG facility, marine terminal, and supporting infrastructure, such as warehouses, a substation, and transmission line.

The shipping route within the environmental assessment application runs from the project location to the Triple Island Boarding Station.

“It is consistent with other TERMPOLS (Technical Review Process of Marine Terminal Systems and Transhipment Sites) done in the area … we looked at LNG Canada, Kitimat LNG, the LNG carriers will all follow the same route.”

Cedar LNG is the largest Indigenous owned infrastructure project in Canada and will be full-electric-powered.

“By drawing power from BC Hydro, we will have one of the lowest [greenhouse gas] footprints of any facility in development or operation in the world,” said Michael Eddy, director of external relations for Cedar LNG. “From the beginning, this was a requirement of the Haisla Nation.”

The project will leverage existing LNG infrastructure in the province by having gas delivered to Kitimat through an 800-kilometre Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline, which is currently under construction. It is also planned to use air cooling to minimize effects on water use and quality and an innovative marine terminal design with strut mooring to reduce the effects on the marine environment.

Peak construction

Meanwhile, LNG Canada, which first put shovels in the ground in early 2020, is expecting to reach new heights this year.

“This is our year in ‘high gear,’” says LNG Canada chief executive officer Peter Zebedee. (Note: Zebedee this week was appointed executive vice-president of Mining and Upgrading, Suncor Energy Inc., effective April 11, 2022.)

“Our pace of progress will accelerate in 2022 as we move through the next stages of project completion and closer to shipping our first cargo of low-carbon, made-in-B.C. LNG to countries that need it most.”

The joint venture partnership between Shell plc, PETRONAS, PetroChina, Mitsubishi Corporation and KOGAS, is an export facility in Kitimat B.C., in the traditional territory of the Haisla Nation.  

“As we move towards peak construction and as major components and modules continue to arrive, we’ll have more men and women working with our contractor and subcontractors at our Kitimat worksite, and we’ll welcome many new colleagues to LNG Canada, including those joining our asset team as we prepare for the next 40 years of operations,” says Zebedee.

Earlier this month, LNG Canada ticked a significant box in its construction progress. The project welcomed a 10-storey tall, 4,618-metric-tonne inlet facilities module. This will function as an entry point for natural gas sent to the LNG Canada site through the new CGL pipeline. 

“Taking delivery of our inlet facilities module represents another key milestone for our project, which is now approaching 60 per cent completion,” says Zebedee. “This is a very important year for us, with a pace of construction not seen previously. Thanks to thousands of highly skilled Canadians working at our site in Kitimat, we’re making excellent progress as we advance through construction and prepare for 40 years of safe operations.”

The addition of energy-efficient, low emission natural gas turbines integral to the production of LNG are among the milestones slated for LNG Canada in 2022. These turbines will produce the energy needed to compress and freeze natural gas into a liquefied state.

LNG Canada continues to target the mid-decade for its first cargo at the project.

Expansion on the Fraser River

FortisBC Holdings Inc. is looking to enhance its LNG project in Delta, B.C. The company’s Tilbury Phase 2 is currently in the 45-day public comment period led by the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) expected to finish this April.  

The proposed project involves construction of a new liquefaction unit with capacity of up to 2.5 million tonnes per year to produce LNG for marine fuelling or overseas export. It also includes a new storage tank that can hold up to 142,400 cubic metres of LNG, increasing Tilbury’s current storage capacity by approximately 2.5 times.

If this phase of the expansion project is approved, construction could start as early as 2023 and be completed as early as 2028.

Woodfibre LNG names EPFC contractor

In late 2021, Woodfibre LNG announced that it had signed McDermott International to an engineering, procurement, fabrication, and construction (EPFC) contract.

The project is located about seven kilometres west-southwest of Squamish, B.C.

“Our contract with McDermott is a positive step forward for this substantial piece of clean energy infrastructure,” said Christine Kennedy, president of Woodfibre LNG. “Together, we will be building the lowest-emission, most sustainable and innovative LNG export facility in the world. A particular point of pride for us is that the Squamish Nation serves as a full environmental regulator for this project.

“Serving as a unique example of economic reconciliation, this is the first arrangement of its type for an LNG facility,” she added.

B.C’s LNG can be a game-changer overseas

A new study in the Journal of Cleaner Production published on highlights the opportunity Canadian LNG presents for China.

Under Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement, Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs) are allowed as a co-operative approach between two governments toward reaching Nationally Determined Contributions goals.

By replacing coal use in China with LNG from B.C., there is potential to produce ITMOs, said the study.

“Replacing coal with LNG in energy generation applications is a promising approach to mitigate emissions,” reads the study. “With global and national pressures to reduce emissions, China has created a market for LNG imports to cater to its rising natural gas (NG) consumption due to the coal-to-gas source switching strategy.

“By replacing conventional coal with NG, approximately 40–45 per cent and 26–32 per cent emissions reductions can be obtainable for Chinese textile and chemical industries, respectively,” the study continued. “The highest emissions reduction of approximately 60 per cent was observed when coal is replaced with NG for district heating.”

The need for more

Former Haisla Nation Chief Councillor Ellis Ross, elected as an MLA for the B.C. Liberal Party in 2020, says the NDP party “basically doesn’t want anybody talking about” LNG.

“LNG is out of sight, out of mind here in B.C.,” he said during an interview in February.

“When you consider the world energy crisis, where Europe could really use some energy right now, India could use energy, Asia could use energy — we’re talking about clean energy here. Sadly, B.C. is not part of that conversation.”

Ross was part of the LNG movement in B.C. from the get-go.

“My First Nation band along with other First Nations lobbied the B.C. government and the federal government to get behind LNG,” said Ross. “This was lobbied for by First Nations on B.C. and Canada to get exports out to Asia.”

He said he’s disappointed by the current administration’s approach to the product.

“Nineteen LNG projects were proposed for B.C.,” said Ross. “Only one got through. All the rest of the investors left B.C. They are nowhere to be found.

“Unless they are very small-scale projects where nobody can see or hear about them … major project development in terms of resources in B.C., that day has come and gone,” he added. “We are talking about mining, forest, LNG. If there was any talk about light oil being an industry emerging in B.C., nobody is talking about that either.”

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