BC Utility in Term LNG Export to China
BC utility FortisBC said July 16 it has entered into Canada’s first term export agreement to China, with a two-year deal to delivery 53,000 mt/yr of LNG from its recently expanded Tilbury liquefaction facility near Vancouver to Top Speed Energy.
FortisBC will execute the contract by shipping 60 ISO containers a week to China by the summer of 2021. The volume of LNG to be exported is the equivalent of the volume of gas required to heat 30,000 BC homes for a year.
“This is the first agreement of its kind that will see Canadian LNG shipped regularly to China,” FortisBC vice-president of market development and external relations, Douglas Stout, said. “There is strong demand for Canadian LNG in China and this is an exciting time to be working in the industry here in BC.”
Two years ago, FortisBC became the first Canadian company to export LNG to China, and has continued to make ISO exports on a spot basis. The Tilbury expansion, which added 250,000 mt/yr of liquefaction capacity and incremental storage capacity of 46,000 m3, has led the utility – and Canada’s export industry – “into uncharted territory”, the company said.
The expanded facility is designed to be one of the cleanest LNG facilities in the world, and the projected exports would reduce GHG emissions in China by between 90,000 and 180,000 mt/yr, according to an emissions reduction tool developed specifically for Tilbury. This is the equivalent of removing every passenger-sized diesel truck from BC’s roads.
Chinese industries and residential buildings are switching from coal to natural gas to significantly improve air quality and address climate change. Shipping LNG by ISO container helps meet the energy demands of industrial and public utility customers in China who are not connected to a pipeline network, as the containers can be transported virtually anywhere and don’t require large regasification terminals to convert the LNG back into natural gas.
“Canada is one of the leading natural gas producers in the world and our company is pleased to work with FortisBC to move their LNG to China’s fast-growing market,” Top Speed Energy CEO Chen Jianrong said. “The market for Canadian LNG will increase as China seeks to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions by switching to lower-carbon energy.”