Shell Canada update Kitimat Council on their plans to date

The proposed LNG export facility could be operational by 2019, based on the company's estimate timelines for the process.

The Shell Canada-led LNG export proposal for Kitimat is expected to start sending out its first LNG probably in 2019, given the timelines shared with councillors on June 17.

Shell Canada’s Rob Seeley, the director of sustainable development and external affairs, presented a company update at the regular council meeting, saying that assuming getting necessary approvals in 2014 through to 2015, and a final investment decision in 2015, construction would take four years before the facility became operational.

Their facility, if it goes ahead, would be built on the former Methanex site which Shell purchased approximately two years ago.

The project, which at its peak would have four, six-million tonne LNG trains, is being developed with South Korea’s KOGAS, PetroChina and Mitsubishi, all whom have a 20 per cent stake in the business.

Seeley said that Shell has had business arrangements with all of these companies in the past but this is the first time that all four have worked together on a single proposal.

Seeley said that many things are being worked on behind the scenes, including arranging contracts with Rio Tinto Alcan to use the Eurocan wharf for two berths of the proposed LNG terminal.

“We own the Methanex jetty however we’ve been in discussion with [RTA] about the use of the Eurocan wharf,” he said.

There’s more that LNG Canada is interested in with RTA. Seeley said they’d like to take over the work camp that RTA has already built, and continue using that for the LNG project.

The construction phase will require about 5,500 total workers, but he said they’re not aiming to have a work camp to hold that amount of people.

When asked by councillor Phil Germuth about plans for putting employees in permanent community housing, Seeley said it would be a choice for some, and especially people like project managers would likely live in the community, as they would be more permanent workers rather than those who would come in for a few months at a time.

“Clearly we want to have people live in this community and be part of the economic opportunity and growth of the community,” said Seeley.

Once the project shifts to the operational phase, Seeley said they’d need around 200 to 400 workers to keep things running.

For the initial two trains of LNG, Seeley said they’d likely anticipate 170 tankers yearly in the Douglas Channel, up to 350 when all four are operational.

Natural gas fired turbines will be used for the majority of the site’s electric needs for the refrigeration compressors, with some drawing on the provincial grid.

LNG Canada has filed the project description with the B.C. environmental assessment office, officially starting the review process.

Seeley said that review will cover the site’s emissions, marine terminal, carbon footprints, social components and other issues. As well it will looke at the cumulative effect of the project in light of other developments as well.

The company already has a 20-year export licence.