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REPORTING · 20th June 2013
Walter McFarlane
Rob Seely was at the Regular Meeting of Kitimat Council on Monday, June 17th to present to Council an update on their project.

“It is about taking advantage of the opportunity in British Columbia, the Natural Gas which we have in British Columbia, diversifying Canada’s Markets for that gas and having Canada become a Key Player in the Global LNG Market,” said Seely. “Having LNG in British Columbia is a huge economic opportunity for British Columbia and more specifically, this region.”

He expressed it brings the economic activity from the Northeast to the Northwest. The venture is Shell led under the title: LNG Canada. There are other venture partners from other parts of the world. Having the other parties builds in the market for the opportunity.

The project description has been filed with the BC Environmental Assessment Office in March. The project will have 24 million tonnes of LNG and there will be a construction workforce of 5500 workers. The operational workforce is estimated at 200-400 people.

The location is the old Methanex property which was purchased 2 years ago. They own the Jetty but have been talking with Rio Tinto Alcan concerning the use of the Eurocan Wharf.

The operation will include the Trans Canada Coastal Gas Link Project. There is a liquefaction plant to chill the gas, 2 tanks for storage and births for 2 ships. There will be offices, maintenance buildings and the construction work camp.

“The facilities require a large amount of power. Most of it is for the compressors, the refrigeration process. It’s been determined that those are going to be powered by Natural gas powered drive turbines,” said Seely. “The most efficient gas turbines on the market for commercial operations. Even with the gas turbine drives, this thing will be the most efficient LNG facilities in the world.”

He said they are looking at options for additional power and are in discussions with BC Hydrop concerning the surplus power they need.

He expressed The LNG facilities and ships around the world have an exceptional safety record and they plan the same. Their proposed shipping route is down the Douglas channel, up towards Prince Rupert and ships enter the international shipping lane at Triple Point Island.

A construction camp will be built and the best piece of land is the Rio Tinto Camp Location subject to the discussions with Rio Tinto Alcan and the conclusion of their project.

Seely expressed they are just starting the environmental assessment process. The BC Oil and Gas Commission and Transport Canada also have to submit Permits and Approvals. “We are just starting the environmental assessment process. Within that process, it would be the facilities, emissions, water use, foot print, etc. of that facility, social components associated with this project as well as environmental and marine terminal and shipping out to triple island,” said Seely.

He told Council it would look at this project and the other proposed projects for this region.

Right now, they are undergoing the environmental assessment application for the middle of next year, it will be reviewed and there will be a decision in 2015 or later. If the government approves the project, it will take four years to build so it should come online in 2019.

An information centre has been set up at their location. “Next week, we are inviting the community to come on Tuesday for an open house and an information session. We’ll have a number of my colleagues and team member will be there,” said Seely. At 4:00 Pm, there will be a BBQ, the open house will be from 6-8.

“We are making progress on the project,” said Seely, “But we want to be more engaging with the community.”

Councillor Phil Germuth wanted to know if the camp workers will be encouraged to live in Kitimat. He was told they want to have people living in the community while being a part of the economic growth of Kitimat. The camp is just there for people who are going to be in Kitimat over a short term period of less than 6 months.

Councillor Rob Goffinet recognized Shell as a world leader of liquefaction.