Woodfibre LNG is moving ahead with construction preparations for a liquefied natural gas export terminal near Squamish B.C., issuing a notice to proceed Thursday for its main contractor to prepare for start of construction in 2023.
The subsidiary of Singapore-based Pacific Energy plans to use floating storage tanks and FortisBC is proposing to expand an existing natural gas pipeline to the Woodfibre site to supply the liquefaction and shipping of LNG. The proposed Eagle Mountain-Woodfibre pipeline project would add 47 km of new pipe, beginning north of Coquitlam and ending at the Woodfibre site.
The notice to proceed means the company expects “substantial completion” of the project in 2027, Woodfibre LNG said in a statement April 14. Woodfibre LNG is also the first to include Indigenous approval, with approval from the Squamish Nation as well as the Canadian and B.C. governments.
“Powered with renewable hydroelectricity, Woodfibre LNG will be the lowest-emission LNG export facility in the world,” the company said. “When shipped to Asia where it will replace coal-fired electricity, the LNG produced by the Woodfibre facility will reduce 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year, equivalent to five per cent of B.C.’s annual emissions.”
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forced Germany to put a stop to a second gas pipeline to supply Europe, and oil and gas prices have soared as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes and demand rises. An unusually cold spring has pushed up the spot price of natural gas in North America, while Canada and the U.S. have banned imports of Russian oil and gas.
The federal government issued a 40-year export permit to Woodfibre LNG in 2017, one of 24 issued by Ottawa to that point.
Only LNG Canada, a partnership of Shell, Malaysia-based Petronas, PetroChina, Korea Gas and Mitsubishi of Japan, has proceeded with its large-scale export facility at Kitimat and construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline across northern B.C. from shale gas fields in the northeast.