Saturday, September 20, 2008

Liquid Natural Gas Proposed from British Columbia to Asia

Gordon Hamilton, Vancouver Sun
Published: Friday, September 19, 2008

British Columbia's expanding natural gas supplies, coupled with growing demand for gas in Asia, prompted Kitimat LNG to announce Friday it plans to build a liquid natural gas export terminal at Kitimat, dropping previous plans for an import terminal.

The global natural gas market has changed fundamentally, the Calgary-based company said in announcing its reversal. The export proposal is now more viable than importing liquid natural gas.

"Kitimat continues to be a viable and advantageous location to build a West Coast LNG terminal," Rosemary Boulton, president of Kitimat LNG, said in a news release. "The growing economies of the Pacific Rim and rapidly increasing demand for LNG make Asia a natural market for B.C.'s plentiful and expanding supplies of natural gas.

"Kitimat is close to Asian markets and an extensive pipeline network already connects B.C. gas suppliers to the Kitimat area."

The import proposal has already received all regulatory, environmental and government approvals, the company said, adding there are no additional environmental impacts associated with building a liquefaction terminal rather than a regasification terminal.

The proposed plant will cool natural gas to -160 degrees Celsius so it can be transported by ship to Asian markets.

LNG terminals are controversial. A plan by another Calgary company, WestPac LNG Corp., for a liquid natural gas plant on Texada Island has run into opposition from community and environmental groups who do not want LNG being shipped through Georgia Strait.

Kitimat LNG is one of four pipeline and port expansion projects that have been announced for the north by gas and pipeline companies.

The Kitimat proposal has the support of the Prince Rupert and Kitimat mayors as well as the chief of the Haisla First Nation.

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