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LNG Canada: the northern LNG route to Asia

  • Author:Lucien Joppen
  • Source:valve-world
  • Release on :2019-03-21
During the third quarter of 2018, the single largest private sector investment project in Canadian history was given the green light. LNG Canada will build a 40 billion US dollar LNG export terminal in British Columbia, designated to serve the Asian market.

In October, LNG Canada - a joint venture between Shell, Petronas, PetroChina, Mitsubishi Corporation and KOGAS - finally tied the knot and signed a FID for the multibillion project. Due to fluctuating gas prices, the joint venture took several years to reach the aforementioned Final Investment Decision. The LNG Canada export terminal will feature two LNG trains that are able to process 14 million tonnes per annum. The joint venture partners are responsible for the transport of natural gas to the terminal located
in the small village in North-western British Columbia (see box Kitimat).
The natural gas supply for the terminal will be transported from the Montney-region in the North-eastern part of British Columbia via a 670 kilometre pipeline (see box Coastal GasLink).
Montney is a major shale gas and shale oil resource according to a comprehensive joint study in 2013 by the National Energy Board, British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission and the Alberta Energy Regulator. This study found that the potential resources contained within the formation were 12.7 trillion cubic meters of marketable natural gas, 14,521 million barrels of marketable natural gas liquids and 1,125 million barrels of oil. This estimate makes it one of the largest known gas resources in the world.

Kitimat
The small municipality of Kitimat (approximately 8,000 citizens) has been selected out of 500+ candidates for the LNG export terminal. In terms of location, Kitimat is ideally situated. It is connected to the Pacific Ocean via the Douglas Channel (90 kilometers). Kitimat also has a logistic infrastructure in place as the aluminum company Alcan has been active in Kitimat for decades. As a result, the Douglas Channel is a busy shipping lane. An added benefit of Alcan’s presence is the development of hydroelectric facilities that are designed to provide Alcan with cheap and clean energy to support its power intensive processes. These facilities are also used for the LNG Terminal, thus reducing its CO2 footprint considerably, LNG Canada claims.

Markets out west
Most of the LNG to be produced in Kitimat will be transported to the northern region of Asia. As the IEA has predicted, natural gas demand will grow in China for the next decades.
Chinese gas demand is forecasted to grow by 60% between 2017 and 2023, underpinned by policies aimed at reducing local air pollution by switching from coal to gas. In the next five years, China alone accounts for 37% of the growth in global demand and will become the largest natural gas importer by 2019, overtaking Japan. The IEA also forecasts strong growth in gas use in other parts of Asia, including in South and Southeast Asia, driven by strong economic growth and efforts to improve air quality.

Vote of confidence
Returning to the LNG Terminal in Kitimat, government officials and the private sector have stated that the project is an example of balanced and sustainable economic development.
“It is a vote of confidence in a country that recognizes the need to develop our energy in a way that takes the environment into account and that works in meaningful partnership with indigenous communities,” Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau stated.
Although the project revolves around the exploitation of fossil resources, the joint ventures have taken measures to reduce CO2 emissions in the liquefaction process by using renewable energy as mentioned earlier in this article. LNG Canada also stressed that the exported LNG will be used to displace more ‘carbon intensive’ energy sources, meaning coal, in order to reduce the impact on climate and air quality.


Justin Trudeau, Canada's Prime Minister: "It's a vote of confidence in
a country that recognizes the need to develop our energy in a way
that takes the environment into account and that works in
meaningful partnership with indigenous communities."

Start in 2019
Before the FID, in April of 2018, LNG Canada already selected the joint venture between JGC Corporation (JGC) and Fluor Corporation (Fluor) as its EPC Contractor. According to LNG Canada, this decision was based on the consortium’s value proposition, which includes health, safety, First Nations and stakeholder management, financial strength, technical design, execution plans, contract price and schedule.
Fluor has nearly 70 years of project experience in Canada, with over 7,500 construction personnel working on Canadian projects in 2017, while JGC has experience in construction of more than 48 LNG trains globally.
The project will start in the first quarter of 2019 and will take approximately six years. The first LNG is expected to be shipped from Kitimat halfway through the next decade.

Quotes
“LNG Canada is an attractive investment opportunity in a strong joint venture, with companies that have deep LNG industry experience. In the last two years, LNG Canada has improved its competitiveness, reduced execution uncertainty and gained significant stakeholder support.”
Maarten Wetselaar, Integrated Gas and New Energies Director, Royal Dutch Shell.

“PetroChina strives to build a diversified oil and gas portfolio. The project’s competitiveness, low carbon emissions and relatively short shipping distance to China mean LNG Canada can help supply the increasing demand for gas in China.”
Mr. Wei Gao, CFO of the China National Oil and Gas Exploration and Development (CNODC).

“By this project, Mitsubishi Corporation will diversify its LNG supply portfolio, which contributes to enabling more stable energy supply to Asian customers.”
Hidenori Takaoka, Group CEO, Energy Business Group, Mitsubishi Corporation.


The pipeline from the Montney Basin to the terminal in Kitimat

Coastal GasLink

The USD 4.7 billion pipeline that will transport natural gas to the Canadian coast will be the responsibility of TransCanada. The company operates one of North America’s largest natural gas pipeline networks (91,500 kilometers) and delivers 25% of the natural gas consumed in North America every day.
The pipeline will be buried at a depth of about a metre, and the project will include the construction of some above ground facilities, such as meter and compressor stations. It is expected that the pipeline will require one compressor station at the start of operations. As many as seven stations could be added along the corridor in the future, depending on the volume of natural gas needing to be shipped.