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    Canada Begins Kitimat LNG Expansion Review [UPDATED]

Summary

Public has until July 31 to comment on proposed expansion. Corrects capacity of possible third train.

by: Dale Lunan

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Canada Begins Kitimat LNG Expansion Review [UPDATED]

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) said July 11 it has begun a review of the proposed expansion of the Kitimat LNG project in BC by Chevron Canada and Australia’s Woodside Energy to determine whether the project requires an environmental assessment (EA).

At the same time, the CEAA said the BC government had requested that the conduct of the federal EA process be substituted to the province. Under this process, the province would conduct the EA and gather information needed for the federal minister of environment and climate change to make a decision under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.

Kitimat LNG would be built on Haisla Nation lands at Bish Cove, on the north shore of Kitimat Arm near the head of the Douglas Channel.

Chevron Canada and Woodside Energy proposed an expansion earlier this year that would increase the capacity of the first two trains at the facility to 12mn mt/yr from 10mn mt/yr by incorporating a new compact electric drive design (compact E-drive) powered by clean hydroelectricity from BC Hydro.

“This new compact module, all-electric drive (compact E-drive) design has led to step change improvements, including substantial reductions in LNG unit costs, execution risk and emissions, and more effective utilisation of the Bish Cove site,” Chevron and Woodside said in a project description filed with the CEAA.

The plant would have an estimated CO2 intensity of about 0.05 tons of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e)/ton of LNG produced, below BC’s own benchmark of 0.15 tCO2e/tLNG and well below the global average of 3.5 tCO2e/tLNG.

In addition to the expanded capacity of the first two trains, Chevron and Woodside are proposing a possible expansion that would add a third 6mn mt/yr train, an additional LNG storage tank and an additional loading berth. The third train would also use the compact E-drive technology.

Based on a timeline included in the new project description, Chevron and Woodside would make a final investment decision on the Kitimat LNG project in the 2022-2023 period, with completion of Phase 1 expected in 2028-2029. To accommodate the expanded project, both Chevron Canada and Woodside have requested that their existing 20-year LNG export authorisations be extended to 40 years.

To assist in determining whether the expanded project requires an EA, the CEAA has asked the public to comment on the proposed expansion by July 31, 2019.