David Keane, President of Canada’s Woodfibre LNG project, has announced the imminent construction start for the brownfield liquefaction facility, licensed to export over 2 mtpa of LNG for 40 years. The decision to the construction stage comes shortly after the Sinapore-backed project signed a preliminary supply deal with the largest Chinese LNG importer, China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC). Works are slated to start in the first quarter of 2019.
“We’re hoping to move to a notice to proceed to construction in the first quarter of 2019,” said Keane. “It will be sometime in February or March,” he said. The Woodfibre President has been in his post since August 2018, and was previously head of the lobby group BC LNG Alliance and prior to that with BG Group.
Woodfibre LNG, the Canadian export venture planned for the district of Squamish, BC, is backed by Indonesian businessman Sukanto Tanoto and his Singapore-based Pacific Oil & Gas Ltd, part of the Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) Group.
Project developers said they had signed a Heads of Agreement with CNOOC Gas and Power Trading & Marketing for 750,000 tonnes per annum of LNG.
The supply accord with CNOOC, an importer of LNG to China since 2006 and with a network of nine terminals, would take effect in 2023 and last for 13 years.
Set to be built on the site of a former pulp mill at Squamish, north of Vancouver, the relatively small-scale project is expected to start operating in about four years’ time. Woodfibre LNG is the only liquefaction plant venture with full permit approvals in the Canadian Pacific Coast province of BC.
KBR Inc. has been chosen for preliminary engineering activities, following the completion of a competitive front-end engineering and design tender process. The services include additional FEED work and cost optimization as well as a proposal for an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.
Environmental approval has been granted by the Canadian federal government in Ottawa, and Woodfibre LNG is also cooperating with a local First Nation tribe, right down to letting it choose some of the technology for the plant. The Squamish First Nation Chiefs and the tribal council were able to select air cooling as the technique the Woodfibre plant will use to cool its natural gas in the LNG production process.