December 4, 2013
Project description for the LNG facility at Woodfibre, which is located 8 km. from Squamish, has been released. Woodfibre Natural Gas Limited proposes the development and operation of a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) production, storage and marine carrier LNG transfer facility on the previous industrial Woodfibre Pulp and Paper Mill site. The company, Woodfibre Natural Gas Limited is a Canadian company and part of the Pacific Oil & Gas Group, an independent energy resource development company owned by Billionaire Sukanto Tanoto.
The company plans to hold Open Houses for the public to learn more about the project in early February 2014. From the information presented at the December 3rd District of Squamish Council meeting by Byng Giraud, Vice President of Corporate Relations the benefits to Squamish are still to be determined. Approximately 100 jobs will be created at the site, jobs that will require specific skills. Tax revenue to the District is subject to the assessed value of the property and the mill rate set, and it is unlikely Squamish would receive any of the royalties from the gas. The lands are still being remediated, a cost Woodfibre Natural Gas is factoring into the purchase price of the property. Mr. Giraud stated the site will generate light, noise and emissions that affect air quality, however the engineering and technology to mitigate impacts is still being determined.
Three to four ships per month 50% larger than the new BC ferries, will be piloted through Howe Sound in the existing shipping lanes, but timing of these trips is open for discussion. Mr. Giraud was unable to comment on the facts of the Fortis BC pipeline application, as this is a separate project. The source of the gas and the method in which it is produced is something Woodfibre Natural Gas Ltd. will not know, since it purchases the gas it will liquefy and export on the open market.
The export of the Liquid Natural Gas to China is intended to replace the burning of coal in order to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in China. The cost to Howe Sound is something that will be closely examined as the project information develops.