Canada: Pacific NorthWest LNG dismisses claims on GHG emissions

Petronas-led multi-billion Pacific NorthWest LNG project in Canada dismissed claims by “climate experts” saying it would become one of Canada’s largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters.

The letter dated May 26 was sent to Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau and environment minister Catherine McKenna voicing concerns over “adverse effects of greenhouse gas emissions increase”.

The letter signatories claim the Pacific NorthWest LNG project would be one of the “largest point source emitters of greenhouse gases in Canada”, urging the government to reject the proposed LNG exports to Asia.

Pacific NorthWest LNG, once in operation, would supply the world’s cleanest LNG to our partners in Asia who are eager to import the same natural gas that British Columbians use in their daily lives,” said Spencer Sproule, senior adviser of corporate affairs at Pacific NorthWest LNG .

Pacific NorthWest LNG is currently awaiting a decision from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to move forward with its proposed $11 billion LNG terminal in British Colombia.

Canada’s minister of environment Catherine McKenna extended the decision deadline for the LNG project in March this year as the CEAA was seeking additional information from Pacific NorthWest LNG. Minister McKenna indicated a possible federal cabinet decision by the end of June.

According to Pacific NorthWest LNG, the project’s use of aero-derivative turbines for its power generation needs would result in a “maximum ratio of 0.22 t/CO2 e per 1t/ LNG”. The company said it is making efforts to reduce this ratio to “between 0.19 and 0.21 t/CO2 e”.

In comparison, LNG facilities currently in operations have a typical carbon intensity benchmark of “0.31 t/CO2 e per 1 t/LNG”. Most LNG facilities in construction have established a new benchmark of “0.25 t/CO2 e per 1t/LNG produced,” Pacific NorthWest LNG said.

However, according to the letter signatories, when upstream emissions are added to facility emissions, the LNG project would add “between 18.5 and 22.5% to British Columbia’s total GHG emissions”.

“This would make it virtually impossible for BC to meet its GHG emission reduction targets, and would undermine Canada’s international climate change commitments,” the letter said.

In a support letter for the LNG project sent to the CEAA , Japan’s Ambassador to Canada, Kenjiro Monji said that it is “critically important” to advocate the early realization of LNG export projects in Canada and he urged the approval of the environmental assessment of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project.

While the LNG export projects in British Columbia may produce some additional greenhouse gases, LNG exports to the Asian market will reduce the heavy use of coal-fired power and crude oil there, contributing to a drastic reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions of these developing countries. These projects will result in a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide,” the Ambassador said.

Pacific NorthWest LNG is planning an LNG export facility on Lelu Island within the District of Port Edward on land administered by the Prince Rupert Port Authority. The facility would export natural gas produced by Progress Energy Canada in northeast B.C. Both Pacific NorthWest LNG and Progress Energy Canada are majority-owned by Petronas.

“Global appetite for LNG will continue to grow over the coming decades with numerous countries, including the United States, racing to meet that global demand. There is a clear choice: Canada can move forward with exporting a significantly cleaner product to world markets or let our competitors step into the breach,” Sproule said.

Petronas said earlier this year that, once the company receives the decision from CEAA, it will then review the report “to further determine their impact on the overall cost structure and schedule of the project.”

Based on the outcome, combined with LNG market outlook and overall project commerciality, Petronas said it will develop the proposal for the final investment decision on the project.

Petronas, Sinopec, JAPEX, Indian Oil Corporation and PetroleumBRUNEI are all shareholders in Pacific NorthWest LNG and the associated natural gas supply.


LNG World News Staff

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