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    FortisBC Pushes Ahead with Tilbury Expansion


Full build-out would take capacity to 4.5mn mt/yr

by: Dale Lunan

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FortisBC Pushes Ahead with Tilbury Expansion

BC natural gas distributor FortisBC is pushing ahead with a C$3bn Phase 2 expansion of its Tilbury Island liquefaction terminal in BC’s Lower Mainland that would increase LNG production capacity to about 4.5mn mt/yr.

According to an initial project description approved by BC’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) on February 27, the new facilities at Tilbury Island will add 11,000 mt/day of liquefaction capacity and 162,000 m3 of storage capacity.

Phase 2 would be the third expansion of Tilbury Island in the last six years. Phase 1A, completed in 2018, added 700 mt/day of liquefaction capacity and 46,000 m3 of tank storage. Phase 1B, which is currently in the design and engineering stages with a planned in-service date in 2023, will add 2,000 mt/day of liquefaction capacity.

Liquefaction trains at both Phase 1 expansions will use all-electric compressors, with power drawn from the provincial grid, as would the Phase 2 liquefaction trains. Some expansion on an Enbridge gas pipeline serving Tilbury Island would also likely be needed to meet the gas supply requirements of the expanded facility.

The original Tilbury Island facility has operated since 1971 as a storage and peak-shaving facility, with 60 mt/day of liquefaction capacity and 28,000 m3 of storage capacity. Some or all of the base plant liquefaction and storage capacity may be decommissioned following completion of the Phase 2 project.

The Phase 2 project is now in the 90-day early engagement stage of the province’s environmental assessment process, which allows for the early identification of interests, issues and concerns of indigenous First Nations, stakeholders and the public that can inform project design, siting and any alternative approaches to development.

The project may also be subjected to a federal review under the Impact Assessment Act – the infamous Bill C-69. The EAO and the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC) are working together for the initial phase of the project’s review, and a 30-day comment period jointly held by the two agencies is expected to be announced soon.

Assuming receipt of all provincial and any federal approvals, additional storage in Phase 2 would be in-service in 2024, while staged completion of the additional liquefaction trains would take place between 2024 and 2028.

(Artist rendering of Phase 2 expansion courtesy FortisBC)