Northwestern B.C. LNG pipeline decision extension requested

Deadline of today would have shed light on LNG plant plans

  • Fri Jan 29th, 2016 8:00pm
  • News

CONSTRUCTION decisions for at least one and perhaps more smaller liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants near Kitimat remain unknown, based on a filing today with a provincial regulator.

Pacific Northern Gas (PNG) was to tell the B.C. Utilities Commission today how large of a natural gas pipeline it was to build to the locations for up to three planned LNG plants, all of which would be located on barges.

One project, Douglas Channel LNG, is the most advanced of the three and would require an extension of PNG’s existing 10-inch line into Kitimat.

Two other projects called Triton and Cedar are in the concept stage but would require PNG to build a 30-inch line to feed all three and set in motion the construction of a second PNG pipeline running from the Prince George area into the northwest.

But yesterday PNG asked the utilities commission for an extension and a change in detail it would need to provide.

The utility is now asking to submit the pipeline size filing “within 10 days of Douglas Channel LNG making a Final Investment Decision on the project,” a statement today from the utilities commission indicates.

“The commission is currently considering this request and at this point, we have not responded nor is there a revised date for receiving the filing,” the statement continued.

PNG originally received approval to construct either a 10-inch line or a 30-inch line last November and that’s when it was given a deadline of today to file its decision with the commission.

The natural gas utility is a subsidiary of Calgary-based energy company AltaGas which is a partner with a Japanese company in both the Douglas Channel LNG project and the Triton one. There are other companies involved as well.

A successful development of just the Douglas Channel LNG project would also mean lower natural gas costs for PNG’s existing northwestern B.C. customers.

That’s because it would take up the majority of the capacity of the existing 10-inch line, a capacity which became available when previous large scale industrial customers closed down.

Since then, PNG’s existing customers have had to pay more to maintain the line, a situation that would then change should Douglas Channel LNG go ahead and begin paying its share of those costs.

Both PNG and AltaGas have so far not responded to requests for comment.