Woodfibre LNG site. Woodfibre LNG

VANCOUVER – Pitter, patter, let’s get at ‘er! After years in the making, finally a second Canadian liquified natural gas (LNG) plant got the go-ahead to start building.

On April 14, proponent Woodfibre LNG Limited has issued a “Notice to Proceed” to prime contractor McDermott International.

Woodfibre follows LNG Canada’s Kitimat project, which is currently under construction.

This announcement comes after the Quebec and Federal government put the brakes on an East Coast LNG export facility called Energie Saguenay. Quebec said “no” last summer, followed up by a similar answer from the feds this year.

It also comes at a time when Europe is crying out for LNG that will allow those nations dependent on Russian gas to cut those energy ties.

Woodfibre said in a release, “This Notice to Proceed is an instruction from Woodfibre LNG to McDermott to begin the work required in order to move the project toward major construction commencement in 2023.

“Woodfibre LNG expects to reach substantial completion in 2027.”

The company said the project will be powered with renewable hydroelectricity, making it “the lowest-emission LNG export facility in the world.”

Woodfibre said, “When shipped to Asia where it will replace coal-fired electricity, the LNG produced at the Woodfibre facility will reduce 3.5 million tonnes of CO2e per year, equivalent to five per cent of B.C.’s annual emissions.”

Woodfibre LNG is a Canadian subsidiary of Pacific Energy based in Singapore. It is approved and regulated by the Canadian and B.C. governments and by the Squamish Nation. Woodfibre LNG is the first industrial project in Canada to recognize an Indigenous people as a full project regulator (in the absence of a treaty), the company said.

The Woodfibre LNG project is located approximately seven kilometres west-southwest of Squamish, British Columbia. It involves the construction and operation of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility on the previous Woodfibre pulp mill site. The facility would have a storage capacity of 250,000 cubic metres  and would produce approximately 2.1 (MTPA) of LNG. Woodfibre LNG is a privately held Canadian company based in Vancouver and Squamish, and is a subsidiary of Pacific Energy Limited.

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Note, this map is current as of September, 2020. More projects have since been completed and gone online, and none are in Canada. Source: FERC

 

Canada has been slow to the LNG game. Woodfibre is only the second LNG project in Canada to go ahead, despite over 20 being proposed. Indeed, this announcement comes seven years after the project was permitted.

During the last decade, the United States went literally from zero to hero, building seven LNG export terminals and more on the way, allowing the US to become one of the world’s leading LNG providers. Many of those terminals have built multiple production “trains,” with Sabine Pass recently bringing its sixth online. LNG Canada is currently building only two trains at Kitimat, with two more planned. When Russian invaded Ukraine, President Joe Biden promised American LNG would supply Europe, while Canada has proven incapable of supplying any.

Source: FERC

In the meantime, Pieridae Energy’s Goldboro LNG project in Nova Scotia has been dramatically scaled back in scope to a floaing LNG project, and even then, it still has not been approved. LNG Newfoundland and Labrador’s project at Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, would take gas from the offshore oil project and liquefy it for export. It’s still in the works. McDermott, the prime contractor for Woodfibre LNG, is listed on the Newfoundland project’s website as being involved in the project.

BC Government responds

Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, released a statement saying, “Woodfibre’s decision to issue a notice to proceed to its prime contractor, McDermott International, is a strong indication that industrial companies see B.C. as a secure jurisdiction in which to invest.

“Our government will work with companies who are committed to the CleanBC goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

“Woodfibre LNG was permitted in 2015 and recently announced a further $600 million in its project this year. This shows confidence in our stringent regulatory process.

“Our government’s approach puts British Columbians first and rejects the old ways of ignoring climate impacts.

“We are ready and willing to work with investors who meet our four conditions for natural gas development that all projects should:

  • guarantee a fair return for B.C.’s natural resources;
  • guarantee jobs and training opportunities for British Columbians;
  • respect and make partnerships with First Nations; and
  • protect B.C.’s air, land and water, including living up to the Province’s climate commitments under CleanBC.

“Woodfibre LNG has demonstrated its commitment to meet or exceed these conditions. If successful, Woodfibre will be the lowest-emission LNG facility in the world.”

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Canadian LNG Alliance

Brian Cox, president and CEO of the Canadian LNG Alliance, posted on LinkedIn, “For those of us who believe in the power of “yes, and” and the multiple pathways required to achieve our #economicdevelopment, #reconciliation and #decarbonization goals in #Canada, today is a happy day.

“For those of us who are choosing to end the polarization and the pessimism in our energy dialogue in #Canada, today is a happy day.

“For those of us that believe that #Canada can be a helper nation – a role we have always played in the world during tough times – today is a happy day.

“We CAN and we ARE creating an energy future that is inclusive, optimistic and provides #economic opportunity and sector-leading #innovation, while forging meaningful relationships with #Indigenous communities.

“Congratulations to the entire Woodfibre LNG Limited team, past and present, for their hard work and perseverance in reaching this day.”

 

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