THE COMPANY which owns an abandoned mining town on the north coast says it’s an ideal location for a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant.
Kitsault Energy official Dave Pernarowski says a floating plant to turn natural gas into a super-cooled liquid for export would be faster to put in place than land-based ones being proposed.
“[This] will save a considerable amount of time on the backend in terms of construction in terms of the land base,” Pernarowski.
“With our phased approach, to get us to a point where we’re physically shipping natural gas across the ocean to Asia and other markets, I think we can get there just as fast, if not faster than some of these other projects.”
Kitsault Energy was formed by Kitsault townsite owner Krishnan Suthanthiran to market the location as an energy hub because its location on Alice Arm provides access to the Pacific Ocean for LNG tankers and its convenience as a end point for natural gas pipelines originating in northeastern BC.
It still needs to find partners or investors for planned pipelines, the LNG facilities it wants built at Kitsault and a supply of natural gas itself.
Pernarowski, who is the mayor of Terrace, spoke shortly after returning from a trip to China with other Kitsault Energy officials to line up potential investors.
“Everyone we talked to during our trip expressed a great deal of interest in the natural gas,” he said. “China is looking for large amounts of LNG to power their country and try to move away from coal, they’re really trying to work on environmental issues over on that side of the world. So, burning natural gas instead of the coal burning methods that they’re using now will be a big improvement for them. They’re just very keen on finding opportunities to get access to the natural resource.”
Pernarowski acknowledged that time is of the essence because of other LNG facilities being proposed for Kitimat and for Prince Rupert.
“We may be a little bit behind some of the other activity, but we think we can get there just as quickly,” said Pernarowski.
He did note that two LNG projects being proposed for the Prince Rupert area would be fed by natural gas pipelines traveling across northern BC and coming out on the coast at Kitsault before turning south.
“Kitsault is considerably closer to the actual gas fields, so that’s going to save any company that partners with us billions of dollars in pipeline construction, environmental assessment through waterways, etc.,” said Pernarowski.
Kitsault Energy isn’t the first to consider a floating LNG plant – a similar idea is being fleshed out for the Kitimat area through a company partially owned by the Haisla Nation.