Why LNG in British Columbia continues to grow

Canada’s LNG industry has been a key topic of conversation for many years, with industry insiders asking, ‘when will the time of opportunity finally arrive?’ However, in the past few months the region has reached numerous milestones:

  1. FortisBC transported the first ever shipment of LNG from British Columbia to China
  2. Steelhead LNG awarded shipbuilding giant, Hyundai Heavy Industries, the contract to produce the world’s first At-Shore LNG (ASLNG) for the Kwispaa LNG export project.

FortisBC: The first shipment of LNG in November 2017 was supplied by FortisBC’s Tilbury facility in Delta, B.C., and despite the volume being small (around 950 gigajoules), FortisBC’s Vice President of Market Development and External Relations, Douglas Stout, expressed his optimism.

“The pilot is a small but significant step for B.C.’s LNG export industry. At FortisBC, we are working toward changing the LNG landscape with the first of what could be many shipments from our province.”

The region’s LNG industry has been steadily moving towards this goal for many years, and in support of this, FortisBC has invested in the expansion of its Tilbury LNG storage facility (approximately $400 million) as well as in innovative solutions to transport natural gas.

As reported by LNG World News on 23rd January, China was officially the world's second-largest LNG importer last year, with the General Administration of Customs data highlighting the 46% surge or imports to 38.13 million tonnes in 2017. 

In relation to their first shipment, Stout highlighted “what it does show is the desire for natural gas in China”. Combined with also being approached by other customers interested in small-scale ships of LNG from Canada, FortisBC is extremely hopeful about the LNG industry in Canada.

Steelhead LNG: It was reported on 29th January, by LNG World News, that Vancouver-based energy company, Steelhead LNG, has selected South Korean shipbuilders, Hyundai Heavy Industries, as the basic design and construction contractor for the hull of the world’s first At-Shore LNG (ASLNG); with a contract worth $500 million.

ASLNG is a concept using a floating LNG production and storage unit which will be moored to marine jetties. It has been stated by Hyundai Heavy Industries that the unit will be able to store up to 280,000 cubic meters of LNG and once the facility is placed in operation, approximately in 2024, it will have the capacity to produce 6 million tons of LNG per year.

Steelhead LNG’s Kwispaa LNG project at Sarita Bay on Vancouver Island is being jointly developed with the Huu-ay-aht First Nations. This project has seen another world’s first, as approval from the First Nations for project development came in earlier than any other proposed LNG pipeline or export facility.

As more LNG continues to be shipped in 2018, and with the Kwispaa LNG project being described as “the key to the development of LNG on the west coast of Canada” by a Steelhead representative, the year is sure to hold many more exciting developments for the region’s ever-growing gas market.

The Canada Gas and LNG Exhibition and Conference will take place on 14-16th May in Vancouver, providing a vital opportunity to connect with key players and hear more on the evolving developments within the region's market. Book now for your delegate place and save $600. 

This article was originally published on Gastech Insights - view more Canada-focused content here. 

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