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LNG Canada provides update to council but flaring start date still unknown

LNG Canada’s flaring system is now under construction and visible from Kitimat and Kitamaat Village. Photo courtesy LNG Canada

LNG Canada provided an update on the site construction to council on July 3, but a definitive start date for the flaring remains undetermined. Representatives Heather Taylor and Jason Pope highlighted that flaring operations are set to commence this summer, possibly in August or early fall.

“It’s always a moving target,” Pope said. “The reason being, we want to make sure the site is safe to start up.”

LNG Canada is finishing it’s construction as it embarks on its commissioning process. “Much like when you’re building a house, you go through and make sure everything’s working,” Taylor said. 

The commissioning is expected to take 12 months before moving into normal operations. They’re in the process of finalizing utility systems to get ready for bringing gas into the plant. Gas is currently in the CGL pipeline, held up at the Kitimat metering station. 

Community engagement revealed significant concerns about the duration and impact of flaring, particularly with the light and noise keeping people awake at night. Flaring is expected to last for two years, with initial events lasting for weeks, potentially extending to three months in the worst-case scenario. The flame will reach up to 60 metres in height. After the first two years flaring will be reduced primarily to short, scheduled maintenance needs only. 

“Our big thing is reputation. We don’t want the flaring to be detrimental to anyone in Kitimat, or the environment, or to the safety of folks on site. So we’re doing everything possible to minimise flaring and any adverse effects that might come about.”

LNG Canada is under regulatory obligations to notify the District of Kitimat (DoK) and the Haisla Nation before flaring begins. Taylor assured council that the community would be well informed: “People aren’t going to wake up one day to see the flare. We will be notifying the community broadly.”

Pope said noise levels during flaring  in Kitimat and Kitamaat Village neighbourhoods will range from 30-50 decibels, akin to moderate rainfall or a quiet street. Noise at the site could rise to as much as 75 decibels.

Real-time air quality monitoring data will be available to the public throughout the plant’s lifespan. LNG Canada has announced that 

LNG Canada is exploring an alert system for residents to receive updates on flaring and major activities. The company has conducted presentations and site tours, engaging nearly 3,000 community members, and held recent open houses in Kitamaat Village and Kitimat so residents aren’t taken by surprise..

“We’ve been honest with people. Flaring is going to be annoying. We acknowledge that, and there’s going to be people who aren’t happy about it,” Pope said. “But we cannot stop flaring. It is part of the safety design of the plant.”

LNG Canada has established a community feedback number, 1-833-632-LNGC, for residents to voice their concerns. The company plans further community engagement sessions once flaring begins to address new concerns and questions from the public.

About the Author: Quinn Bender

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