Canada’s Pioneering LNG Export Facility Prepares for Commissioning

Canada’s first LNG export facility set for commissioning activities

The Shell-led LNG Canada project, Canada’s inaugural LNG export facility situated in Kitimat, British Columbia, is on the verge of completing its initial phase, with the commencement of commissioning and start-up activities imminent.

According to Jason Klein, CEO of LNG Canada, the construction endeavors at the facility are nearing conclusion, with commissioning and start-up procedures slated to commence shortly. Klein emphasized this development as a significant milestone, highlighting the project’s status as the largest private investment in Canadian history.

“We anticipate initiating commercial operations by mid-2025. The inaugural LNG carrier departing from our premises through the Douglas Channel will deliver locally sourced LNG to our joint venture partners and their clientele,” stated Klein.

Notably, over 30,000 Canadians have contributed to the project thus far, with nearly 9,000 individuals employed at the Kitimat site in January of this year alone. Klein underscored the substantial economic contributions of the project, with contract values exceeding $4.7 billion, including over $3.8 billion allocated to Indigenous-owned and local businesses in British Columbia.

Canada's Pioneering LNG Export Facility Prepares for Commissioning
Canada’s Pioneering LNG Export Facility Prepares for Commissioning (Credits: Gas World)

Klein highlighted the direct governmental benefits projected to amount to $23 billion over the project’s lifespan, as per estimates provided by the provincial authorities.

Furthermore, the LNG Canada initiative encompasses a $500 million contract with HaiSea Marine, a collaborative venture between the Haisla Nation and Seaspan based in North Vancouver. This partnership will deliver harbor and escort tugboat services to LNG Canada utilizing a fleet of battery-powered and low-emission vessels.

Several tugboats, including three battery-powered vessels—HaiSea Wamis, HaiSea Wee’git, and HaiSea Brave—along with the first LNG-powered tugboat, Haisea Kermode, have already been delivered to HaiSea Marine.

In addition to economic and environmental considerations, Klein stressed the project’s commitment to sustainability, noting its design with the lowest carbon intensity among comparable LNG export facilities globally, featuring emissions 35% lower than the top-performing facilities and 60% lower than the global average.

Looking ahead, Klein expressed the joint venture’s exploration of potential pathways for a Phase 2 expansion of LNG Canada, which could generate additional revenues for the government and foster benefits for communities and businesses in British Columbia. This expansion aligns with CleanBC, the province’s initiative aimed at reducing overall emissions.

LNG Canada represents a collaboration between Shell, Petronas, PetroChina, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Korea Gas Corporation.

Upon completion, the Shell-led LNG Canada project will encompass a natural gas receiving and LNG production unit, a marine terminal capable of accommodating two LNG carriers, a tugboat dock, and LNG loading lines. It will include LNG processing units, storage tanks, a rail yard, a water treatment facility, and flare stacks.

The initial production capacity is set at 14 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) from the first two trains, with provisions for future expansion up to four trains.

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