LNG Journal editor
The British Columbia provincial government in Canada and provincial Premier John Horgan said they would support the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and utility company FortisBC to establish the first ship-to-ship LNG bunkering service on the West Coast of North America.
FortisBC, the provincial power company is moving forward with US company WesPac Midstream to develop a full-service LNG bunkering jetty on Tilbury Island on the Fraser River and environmental assessment of this project is underway.
The International Maritime Organization’s cap on sulfur in fuel comes into effect in 2020 and the BC government said it would help the shipping industry to turn to LNG to meet those stricter rules.
The project near Vancouver includes putting a temporary floating bunkering terminal in place by 2020 to meet what is expected to be new demand for LNG from shipping because of the IMO restrictions.
WesPac plans to build the temporary bunkering berth until a permanent one is constructed by 2022.
The proposed jetty will be located at Tilbury Island in the southern part of the Fraser River, where FortisBC’s Tilbury Island LNG plant has also undergone an expansion in production capacity.
The Tilbury plant now has an annual capacity of 3 million tonnes of LNG per annum.
Once completed the jetty would have one berth for a single LNG carrier and a berth for smaller LNG bunkering barges.
The WesPac-led joint venture is expected to cost around C$150 million (US$115M) and will supply LNG to both the domestic and international markets.
In addition to a domestic bunkering market, WesPac said it expected there would also be LNG export opportunities, with Asia being the main market.
WesPac said it expected to see up to 69 bunkering barges and 68 LNG carriers coming to and from the Fraser River terminal annually.