Kitimat’s LNG project received a major boost last week, as Environment Canada gave the federal governments approval on the much discussed regasification plant and shipment terminal planned for Beese Cove .
The approval from Environment Canada was the last hurdle of the approval phase, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be a burst of construction activity in the next few months.
The planners of the Kitimat LNG project, exepct to begin their preliminary work in the next few months, with construction expected to begin in the new year.
Prince Rupert is also being considered for an LNG project, though it’s plans seem a little further down the road to development than the Kitimat project at the moment.
The Northern Sentinel has the details from a Kitimat perspective in the story below.
Environment Canada green lights Kitimat LNG
August 9, 2006
Kitimat LNG has cleared the final hurdle of the approval phase.
Federal Environment minister Rona Ambrose gave the project the final green light on Tuesday, August 1.
“We are thrilled to death,” said KLNG director of communications and consultation Patti Schom-Moffat. “We had every confidence it was coming though.”
The reason the company felt confident was that the federal and provincial environmental assessment agencies had worked closely on this project, Schom-Moffat explained.
Provincial approval had already been granted on June 6.
Schom-Moffat admitted that she thought the time between announcements would be shorter.
“It did seem to us that it was longer than it needed to be, but we are just happy to have the approval,” she added.
During the approval process Haisla, provincial and federal endorsements were necessary for the survival of the project, she explained.
With all three now secured, agreements with suppliers and buyers can be finalized.
But Schom-Moffat pointed out it usually takes the better part of a year to work out an agreement with a supplier.
In fact, in order to get a jump on the competition, KLNG began courting both suppliers and buyers months ago.
On June 25 KLNG executives brought 38 perspective partners from around the world to the proposed site at Beese Cove to showcase the benefits of the location.
“I think we’ve got a very strong argument that Kitimat is the gateway to the North American market and the Alberta oil fields,” Schom-Moffat emphasized.
Despite the fact the project is currently running six months behind the original schedule, it is still the LNG project closest to becoming a reality on the west coast of North America.
“If you look at the map, it is absolutely pimpled with proposed LNG projects,” Schom-Moffat said. “It’s a race and, while we didn’t come in as early as we would have liked to, we’re still first.”
Rival LNG projects include Westpac in Prince Rupert and Bradwood Landing near Knappa Oregon.
Westpac is projected to start operations in 2011 and Bradwood Landing in 2010.
KLNG is scheduled to come on-line in 2009.
As for construction, Schom-Moffat said not to expect a flurry of activity right away. Next month a temporary dock will be installed at Beese Cove so the materials and equipment needed to build the regasification plant can be brought to the site.
Site preparation will take place in the fall with construction expected to start in the New Year.