District residents have until July 31 to comment on an application by Kitimat LNG that will nearly double the project’s output and extend the life of the proposed facility in Kitimat.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA), which issued the invitation on July 11, must decide whether a full federal environmental assessment is required for the proposed expansion.
“To help inform this decision, the [CEAA] is seeking comments from the public and Indigenous groups on the project and its potential for causing adverse environmental effects on the environment,” reads the request for comment.
In addition to the request for comment, the CEAA announced that the provincial government has requested that should an environmental assessment be required, that the federal environmental assessment process be substituted to the province.
“This means the provincial government would conduct the environmental assessment of the project on behalf of the [CEAA] and would gather the information needed for the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to make an environmental assessment decision.”
Kitimat LNG (KLNG) joint partners Chevron and Woodside announced at the beginning of April this year that they had submitted an application to the National Energy Board (NEB) for the plant’s expansion.
The revised plant design allows for the construction of up to three LNG trains, which would potentially increase the plant’s output up 18 MTPA (million tons per annum).
Currently, the plant design consists of a two-train, 12-MPTA foundation project, powered by electricity from BC Hydro, as opposed to burning natural gas to generate the electricity necessary to produce liquefied natural gas.
The partners also applied to extend the initial LNG export period of 20 years contained in its initial export licence, to 40 years.
KLNG said in April that the increase in output and extension of the export period were made possible through “a radical redesign of the proposed natural gas processing facility in Kitimat.”
The application, submitted at the beginning of April, was made nine months before the December 31, 2019, expiry of Kitimat LNG’s initial licence to export LNG that was issued in 2011.
The Kitimat LNG project will see natural gas piped to Kitimat along the proposed Pacific Trail Pipeline from sources in the Liard and Horn River basins in northeastern B.C.
In Kitimat, the natural gas will be processed and shipped from the facility at Bish Cove down the Douglas Channel to the Asian market.
In the NEB application, the joint partners stated the commissioning of the Kitimat terminal “is anticipated to be no later than 2029 depending on the pace of regulatory approvals and a final investment decision by the project’s sponsors.
KLNG is still engaged in activities along the total length of the project, including pipeline right-of-way maintenance and compliance work associated with existing environmental permits along the proposed pipeline route.