Second Canadian liquefied natural gas project set to go ahead in early 2019

Source:Reuters-Global Times Published: 2018/10/24 19:13:43

A small liquefied natural gas project north of Vancouver is poised to move on to construction in the first quarter of 2019, adding momentum to Canada's efforts to become a significant exporter of the supercooled fuel.

The C$1.6 billion ($1.2 billion) Woodfibre LNG project, backed by Indonesian billionaire Sukanto Tanoto's RGE Group, would be Canada's second LNG project to go ahead, following the approval of the massive LNG Canada project earlier this month.

"We're hoping to move to a notice to proceed to construction in the first quarter (of 2019)," Woodfibre LNG President David Keane told Reuters on Tuesday. "It will be sometime in February or March."

Woodfibre LNG is a relatively small project at 2.1 million tons per annum (mtpa), but was long touted as the front runner to get Canadian natural gas to Asian markets, where demand for the fuel is booming. It was given the go-ahead in 2016, but then delayed as the company worked through a number of issues.

Keane said the project is nearly there - the company is just working with engineering contractor KBR Inc on reducing costs and awaiting a November decision on import tariffs on fabricated steel components, used for LNG liquefaction units. Once a construction decision is made, the project will be completed in roughly five years, ensuring first shipments of the supercooled fuel by 2024.

LNG Canada, which will produce some 14 mtpa further north in the town of Kitimat, British Columbia, has said it expects to be shipping fuel before 2025.

Woodfibre has sold 100 percent of its first phase output and financing for the build to take place, said Keane. The project has also secured its gas supply and is working with Canadian utility company FortisBC on a 47 kilometer (29 mile) pipeline connection.

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