A critical piece of infrastructure has arrived at the LNG Canada project site in Kitimat, B.C., in the traditional territory of the Haisla Nation, marking another phase in construction activities at Canada’s first major liquified natural gas facility. With delivery of the inlet facilities module, construction at the site is now 50 per cent complete.
The inlet facilities module
The inlet facilities module is 35 metres tall (more than 10 stories) and weighs 4,618 metric tonnes. The enormous module will receive natural gas from the Coastal GasLink pipeline. Through a series of pipes and valves, the module will evenly distribute natural gas at a constant flow rate into various parts of the LNG plant, including the liquefaction trains where the natural gas will be chilled to -162 degrees C to make liquefied natural gas (LNG).
This equipment is one of more than a dozen highly advanced process modules built for the LNG Canada facility, and the first to arrive. The module was transported by ship to the port of Kitimat, then transferred to the construction site using large self-propelled modular transporters, which slowly moved the module along the project’s haul road that is three kilometres long and 30 metres wide – built specifically to accommodate large loads like this module.
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Protecting aquatic habitiat
In addition, work on constructing a new side channel in the Kitimat River was finished recently. The side channel incorporates aquatic habitat including ponds and pools, planned to protect and enhance fish and other species. The channel was designed and built with extensive consultation and input from local First Nations. Members of the Haisla Nation have also developed a program to monitor water quality and to date they have collected a large body of data. The channel is now in the ‘effectiveness monitoring’ phase to evaluate success of the newly created fish habitat over the next 10 years.
The largest single private sector investment in Canadian history
LNG Canada is the largest single private sector investment in Canadian history, at $17 billion ($40 billion, when upstream assets and the associated Coastal GasLink pipeline are included). To date, the company has spent $3.5 billion on contracts and procurement in B.C., of which $2.6 billion was awarded to First Nations and local area businesses. About 4,000 people were employed at the construction site in 2021 and the pace is expected to be even busier in 2022. LNG Canada expects first production by about 2025.
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LNG Canada’s CEO Peter Zebedee says, “Energy shipped from LNG Canada to Asia is expected to offset up to 90 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. It’s the equivalent of shutting down 40 to 60 coal fired plants in China. It is the entire emissions footprint of British Columbia today.”
Support from Haisla First Nation has been critical to the project moving ahead, and the LNG Canada project has spurred the Nation to advance their own expertise and relationships with industry to develop their own LNG project – Cedar LNG – in partnership with Pembina Pipelines Corp. The Cedar LNG proposal is currently in the B.C. environmental review process.