Canada’s first LNG export facility set for commissioning activities

Canada’s first LNG export facility, the Shell-led LNG Canada project in Kitimat, British Columbia, is nearing completion of the first phase, with commissioning and start-up activities about to begin.

LNG Canada site construction activities, Kitimat, September 2023. Courtesy of LNG Canada

Construction work at the LNG Canada facility is almost complete and commissioning and start-up activities are set to begin, marking another milestone for the largest private investment in Canadian history, LNG Canada’s CEO Jason Klein said in a statement shared on March 7.

“We expect to start commercial operations by the middle of 2025. The first LNG carrier to sail from our facility and down the Douglas Channel will supply made-in-B.C. LNG to our joint venture participants and their customers,” Klein stated.

To date, more than 30,000 Canadians have worked on the project, with almost 9,000 Canadians employed at the Kitimat site in January this year alone, Klein explained, adding that the cumulative value of the project’s contracts and subcontracts to local, Indigenous, and other businesses in B.C. has already exceeded $4.7 billion and includes more than $3.8 billion to Indigenous-owned and local area businesses.

“Direct benefits to the government over the life of the project alone will reach $23 billion, by the province’s own estimate,” Klein highlighted.

The LNG Canada project also includes a $500 million contract with HaiSea Marine, a joint venture between the Haisla Nation and North Vancouver-based Seaspan that will provide harbor and escort tugboat services to LNG Canada with its fleet of battery-powered and low-emissions vessels.

Three battery-powered tugboats, HaiSea WamisHaiSea Wee’git, and HaiSea Brave, have already been delivered to HaiSea Marine as well as the first LNG-powered tugboat, Haisea Kermode.

LNG Canada CEO also underlined that the project was designed with the lowest carbon intensity of any large-scale LNG export facility operating today, with emissions 35% lower than the world’s best-performing facilities and 60% lower than the global weighted average.

“And with our five joint venture participants, we continue to explore pathways to a potential LNG Canada Phase 2 expansion, which can unlock additional revenues to government and benefits for B.C. communities and businesses, and deliver more lower carbon LNG to countries trying to achieve their energy transition goals, all while maintaining alignment with CleanBC, the province’s plan to lower overall emissions,” Klein concluded.

LNG Canada is a joint venture between Shell, Petronas, PetroChina, Mitsubishi Corporation and Korea Gas Corporation.

When completed, the Shell-led LNG Canada project will consist of a natural gas receiving and LNG production unit, a marine terminal with the capacity to accommodate two LNG carriers, a tugboat dock, and LNG loading lines. It will also include LNG processing units, storage tanks, a rail yard, a water treatment facility, and flare stacks.

Its production capacity is planned at 14 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) from the first two trains, with the potential to expand to four trains in the future.

You can read more about the LNG Canada project here.