The company proposing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant at the former Woodfibre mill has applied for a 25-year licence to export out of Howe Sound.
On July 23, Woodfibre LNG Export, part of the Pacific Oil and Gas group, submitted an application to Canada’s National Energy Board for an export licence. The application highlights the project’s focus on “supplying growing Asian natural gas markets.”
The submission stated that gas supply volumes were still to be determined. However, in March, the project’s proponent Ratnesh Bedi told The Chief that the deepwater terminal beside the 212-acre site would handle three to four ships per month. The estimated 2.1 million tonnes — the actual volume depends on results of a feasibility study being conducted by the proponents and Fortis B.C. — makes it what the company called a “small-scale” LNG processing and export facility.
“Woodfibre LNG Limited is continuing to pursue early feasibility work on our project and this application is an important step,” Bedi said in a statement.
Proponents are also applying for a B.C. Envi-ronmental Assessment Certificate (EAC) and a Canadian Environment Impact Statement (EIS). Woodfibre LNG’s export licence submission estimated the EAC would take up to two years to complete, with an extra 12 months to tackle public and First Nations consultation. The proponent anticipated the EIS would take up to two years to gain with an additional year of public review.
The application is a sign of the times, Premier Christy Clark said in a statement.
“Seeing another LNG export licence filed with the federal government shows two things,” she said. “It further indicates that our LNG has huge promise to deliver the jobs and prosperity that B.C. so richly deserves, but also that it’s right around the corner.”
The site generated approximately $2 million in annual property taxes before the pulp mill closed in 2006. It is within the District of Squamish and is zoned industrial. In an interview in March, Bedi estimated that once in operation, the facility would employ 50 to 100 people.