A FortisBC employee walks past a storage tank and delivery trucks at the existing FortisBC Tilbury LNG facility before the groundbreaking for an expansion project in Delta, B.C., on Tuesday October 21, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

FortisBC eyes expansions after inking deal to send LNG by container to China

The FortisBC shipments to China are to be delivered in 60 specialized shipping containers per week

FortisBC is considering further expansions to its liquefaction facility on the Fraser River near Vancouver after landing its first term contract to send Canadian LNG to China.

The utility company, which has operated its Tilbury LNG plant since 1971, said Tuesday it has signed a two-year contract to ship 53,000 tonnes per year of super-cooled gas by the summer of 2021 to Chinese LNG distributor Top Speed Energy Corp.

FortisBC’s recently completed $400-million expansion project took capacity from about 35,000 to 250,000 tonnes per year, allowing a facility that had been used mainly for natural gas storage to become a commercial LNG production plant, said Doug Stout, vice-president of market development and external relations.

“This plant allows us to serve the local marine and transportation markets as well as the smaller-scale export opportunities,” he said.

“We’re looking at further expansions both for this type of market and for the marine and truck transportation markets.”

He says the company is considering an expansion of similar size in the next couple of years, adding there’s room on site to eventually reach capacity of three to four million tonnes per year.

Marine demand for LNG fuel is expected to rise next January when the International Maritime Organization begins to enforce new emissions standards designed to curb pollution produced by ships burning high-sulfur heavy oil.

Small-scale shipments of liquefied natural gas are a growing component in the global LNG sector, especially when the customers are small or unconnected to a pipeline grid, said Alex Munton, Houston-based principal analyst, Americas LNG, for Wood Mackenzie.

“Fortis certainly seems to be developing something of a niche,” he said in an interview.

“There’s a market for this LNG. I mean, we see it in the Caribbean, ISO containers being shipped down to small island markets like Barbados and so forth. It is a means of serving a particular market.”

The FortisBC shipments to China are to be delivered in 60 specialized shipping containers per week.

The volumes, sufficient to heat about 30,000 average British Columbia households per year, will go to smaller commercial and industrial customers in China who don’t have access to natural gas, potentially displacing coal or fuel oil, said Stout.

The contract is modest compared to what’s planned for the Shell Canada-led LNG Canada facility at Kitimat, B.C., a $40-billion project approved last fall that is expected to produce about 14 million tonnes per year after it opens in 2023 or 2024.

“It’s a different ballgame, definitely, from what they’re doing,” said Stout.

His company estimates it would cost $3 billion to $4 billion to build up to three to four million tonnes per year, he said, adding that doesn’t include providing for the required increase in electricity to operate the plant, nor the additional natural gas supply and delivery.

FortisBC says it has been selling small shipments of LNG in China on a spot basis since 2017.

It is owned by St. John’s, N.L.-based Fortis Inc.

ALSO READ: Environmental assessment underway for proposed Delta LNG jetty

ALSO READ: B.C. man’s challenge of controversial LNG pipeline in hands of NEB

Dan Healing, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

Province bringing 421 new affordable childcare spaces to Fraser Valley

Supporting early childhood educators and creating spaces go hand in hand, minister says

Aspiring pot-sellers can apply in two weeks to operate stores in Abbotsford

City will accept applications to operate one of four new stores; public consultation to follow

Abbotsford homeless advocate killed by RCMP in Lytton

Barry Shantz spearheaded getting harm-reduction services in city, changing bylaws around homeless

SLIDESHOW: Vancouver Motorcycle Show back in Abbotsford

Annual event runs all weekend long on Tradex

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

Surrey tells Uber to cease operations in city, but company ‘respectfully’ declines

Ridesharing company told to stop operating within the city by 9 p.m. Jan. 24

Coronavirus concerns cause cancellation of Langley Lunar New Year celebration

Close to 1,000 were expected to attend the annual Live In Langley event on Saturday

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Most Read