Woodfibre set to build Canada's first LNG export project

Fri Nov 4, 2016 9:05pm EDT
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By Nia Williams

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Woodfibre LNG will start building British Columbia's first liquefied natural gas processing and export terminal in 2017, it said on Friday, a project that would grant Canada a long-awaited opportunity to enter the global market.

The facility near Squamish, north of Vancouver, will export 2.1 million tonnes a year once it is operational in 2020, according to a company statement.

However, Woodfibre is relatively small compared to other proposed LNG projects in the province and will have little impact on weak Canadian natural gas prices, said Samir Kayande, a director at research group RS Energy.

More than a dozen LNG projects have been proposed for British Columbia, but the global slump in energy prices has undermined their feasibility and delayed investment.

In September, Canada approved a proposed C$36 billion, 12-million-tonne-a-year LNG project by Petroliam Nasional Berhad. But Petronas, as the Malaysian state-owned oil company is known, has yet to give the final go-ahead, and Canadian aboriginal and environmental groups have filed lawsuits to stop it.

Privately held Woodfibre said its Singaporean parent authorized funds for the facility after British Columbia offered a competitive electricity rate for LNG projects.

Woodfibre, based in Vancouver, is a subsidiary of Pacific Oil & Gas Ltd, which is part of the Singapore-based RGE Group of companies.

Byng Giraud, country manager for Woodfibre, said in a statement the cheaper rates were what allowed the "go forward" decision to happen. The plant will be powered using electricity rather than natural gas.   Continued...