Backers of an ambitious $55 billion proposal to build a floating liquefied natural (LNG) facility off of the north coast who are now seeking environmental approval already say there’s a time crunch to begin construction.
Speaking to Terrace city council June 29, Ksi Lisims LNG external relations manager Paul Anderson outlined a timetable that he said would see production by late 2026 or 2027.
One crucial step is the need to have a natural gas pipeline from northeastern B.C. under substantial construction by 2024.
That’s because Ksi Lisims is negotiating with two companies who already have environmental approvals to build pipelines and the clock is ticking down on those approvals, said Anderson.
Both Enbridge’s Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission Project and TC Energy’s Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project were meant for now-cancelled LNG projects near Prince Rupert.
And both have already received one-time only extensions of their original environmental certificates requiring both to start construction by 2024 or face their approvals running out.
“We are negotiating with both and we plan to announce our pipeline proponent fairly soon,” Anderson said.
“That’s what’s really driving the timeline of our project,” he added of the pipeline approval clock.
It also means financial commitments to proceed with Ksi Lisims must be in place by the end of 2023, Anderson affirmed.
Under questioning from Terrace council members, Anderson said the project did not yet have any customers, saying purchasing contracts would follow as the environmental approval process moved along.
He said as many as 4,000 people would be needed during the construction phase, housed either in floating facilities at the project site or on the mainland close by.
Ksi Lisims would be a project of the Nisga’a Lisims Government and two partners, a grouping of northeastern B.C. and northwestern B.C. natural gas producers called Rockies LNG and a collection of former executives of other LNG projects who are based in Houston, Texas and called Western LNG.
Anderson sketched out a development cost of $35 billion to generate the natural gas needed, $10 billion for a pipeline and $10 billion for the floating LNG facility, making for a total $55 billion.
That floating facility would be located on the north end of Pearse Island at a location called Wil Milit, a 114-hectare site owned by the Nisga’a Lisims Government and identified seven years ago by the Nisga’a as a potential deep-water location for a LNG facility.
The site is just 15 kilometres from Ginglox, the Nisga’a village at the mouth of the Nass River, where a construction camp would likely be set up.
Anderson said a power line either from B.C. Hydro’s New Aiyansh sub station in the Nass Valley or a line from B.C. Hydro’s Skeena Substation south of Terrace would be needed to supply power to Ksi Lisims.
“Like all potential industrial customers, Ksl Lisims LNG follows the interconnection process, which includes providing funding to study the changes to our system necessary to supply them. We’re currently working with them to determine our next steps,” said B.C. Hydro official Kevin Aquino.
At a projected 12 million tonnes of LNG a year, Ksi Lisims would be slightly smaller than the LNG Canada facility now underway in Kitimat.
Under their original designs, the two already-approved pipeline routes from northeastern gas fields would enter the ocean at Nasoga Gulf, in the proximity of the Ksi Lisims location, before turning south toward Prince Rupert.
Ksi Lisims filed its initial paperwork seeing environmental approval with the provincial environmental assessment office and with federal environmental regulators July 5.