After the $40 billion British Columbia LNG Canada mega-project was approved by investors last year, there’s a lot of questions out there about what, when, where, why and who.
Here’s some frequently asked questions (and answers) that many people have about the project:
#1 - What is LNG?
LNG is an abbreviation for liquefied natural gas. As you may know, natural gas is extracted from the earth in gaseous form. Cooling natural gas to -160 degrees Celsius transforms it into a liquid about 1/600th of its original gas volume, making it much easier and safer to transport.
#2 - What is LNG Canada?
LNG Canada is a massive $40 billion LNG project with multiple investors that will consist of a new coastal refinery and 670 kilometre pipeline called Coastal GasLink. The pipeline will extend from Dawson Creek in northeastern B.C. (near the Alberta border) all the way to Kitimat where refining and shipping will take place.
LNG Canada is also a multi-phase project, with room for expansion in the future if all goes well.
#3 - How much natural gas does B.C. have?
The Government of B.C. has estimated there’s around 93 trillion cubic metres of natural gas found throughout the province, mostly in the northeast near the Alberta border. This is more than enough to supply all regional demand and a small, but reasonable portion of that from the international community for years to come.
#4 - How is the natural gas extracted?
In most cases, the natural gas coming from B.C.’s reserves is stored in tight shaley formations. New drilling and fracking technologies have allowed companies to produce from these unconventional formations, of which were otherwise previously unproducible to an economically feasible means.
#5 - Which companies have invested into LNG Canada?
Five companies from five separate countries have agreed to work together to make the BC LNG project happen: Korean Gas, PetroChina, Mitsubishi, Royal Dutch Shell and Petronas.
TransCanada, a national midstream energy company, will also take part by building and operating the new pipeline, although the company is seeking to sell up to 75% per cent of its stake in the project due to uncertainty with getting any energy projects in Canada built at this point in time.
#6 - Why is Canada Exporting LNG?
As global demand for energy sources such as oil and natural gas continues to increase and is forecasted to do so for many years to come, it only makes sense that Canada exports LNG to markets in the Asia Pacific region.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global demand for natural gas is expected to increase by 45% by 2040. Environmental and technological leaders alike have recognized that natural gas is an important stepping stone in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.
LNG Displaces Coal
As a matter of fact, 1 LNG plant in British Columbia could displace up to 40 coal-fired power plants in Asia, reducing global GHG emissions by 60 to 90 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. This amount is greater than B.C.’s total emissions per annum and about 10 per cent of Canada’s total GHG emissions per annum.
Canada produces its natural gas to the highest environmental standards on earth; therefore, LNG coming from Canada helps reduce global greenhouse gas emissions versus if LNG were to come from another country with a lower standard of environmental protection and consideration in project development.
#7 - How Long Will It Take to Build LNG Canada?
According to LNG Canada’s CEO, Andy Calitz, approvals are in place with the National Energy Board, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, BC Hydro and 25 First Nations to go ahead and commence construction immediately. It’s expected that BC LNG will be completed within 5 years time.
#8 - What are the Economic Benefits of BC LNG?
The economic benefits of LNG Canada’s project are huge:
- $23 billion in government tax revenues over the next 40 years
- 20,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs in B.C.
- Creation of thousands of jobs (estimated between 2,000 and 10,000) during construction
- Around 950 permanent full-time jobs once completed
- $475 million in annual tax payments to the B.C. government
- $3.7 billion added to B.C.’s annual GDP
#9 - How Much GHGs will the LNG Canada Project Emit?
The beginning stage of LNG Canada consists of two processing units, with another two coming online in the future once expansion takes place. Each unit emits 1 million tonnes of GHG’s annually, however, the state-of-the-art technology used in these processing plants helps reduce their GHG emissions compared to similar large LNG facilities around the world.
According to LNG Canada, the liquefied natural gas coming from its refineries could reduce global CO2 emissions by 60 to 90 million tonnes annually. That’s more than the total emissions of British Columbia and about 10 percent of Canada’s total emissions annually.
GHG Emissions are Global
When governments talk about reducing their emissions, they need to realize that we live in a global environment. An LNG project off the coast of British Columbia, which has the capacity to displace up to 40 coal-fired power plants somewhere else in the world, means reduced emissions on a global scale despite the fact that provincial emissions might increase.
Canada’s leaders talk about climate change in a global context; they should also talk about emissions in a global context and help reduce GHG emissions globally by supplying the world with natural gas from one of the world’s most ethical, transparent and environmentally-friendly producers.
#10 - Has the BC LNG Project Been Approved in Good Standing?
All the necessary approvals have been obtained by LNG Canada and the Government of British Columbia has helped moved the project forward as it’s in the best interest of the province and Canada as a whole.
Unfortunately, since its approval there have been attempts to block the Coastal GasLink pipeline by protestors who do not respect the rule of law. Today, the work on the pipeline is temporarily suspended not only because of these protests, but also because some ancient Indigenous artifacts were found at one of the construction sites.
Learn more about environmental assessments, regional approvals and more at British Columbia – Liquefied Natural Gas.