‘First-of-its-kind’ Canadian LNG facility gets environmental clearance

This certificate was given to Tilbury Jetty Limited Partnership for the Tilbury Marine Jetty (TMJ) project associated with Canadian utility FortisBC, and Seaspan Energy, a subsidiary of marine services provider Seaspan.

The idea behind the project is to build a jetty on the south arm of the Fraser River, close to the location of FortisBC’s existing Tilbury LNG facility. After construction, the new facility is expected to become the first on Canada’s west coast to allow trans-oceanic vessels to refuel with LNG at the Port of Vancouver, according to the company.

As explained by the minister, the jetty would provide berthing and loading facilities for LNG carriers and bunker vessels with a carrying capacity of up to 100,000 cubic meters. Subject to approval from the Canadian government, the construction is planned to start in 2024 and operations in 2025.

Roger Dall’Antonia, President and CEO of FortisBC, remarked: “We welcome the decision from the provincial government and are optimistic that federal approval will follow soon. Tilbury LNG is all around win-win from decarbonizing the marine sector, to improving air quality and sharing economic benefits with local and Indigenous businesses. We look forward to the day we can call our region the ‘port of call’ for low carbon marine fuelling on the West Coast.”

The company claims that the LNG from Tilbury is among the cleanest in the world, with a 30% lower carbon intensity than the global average because it is powered by hydroelectricity. Compared to conventional marine fuels, it could emit 27% fewer greenhouse gasses and particulate matter in the difficult-to-decarbonize marine sector.

Furthermore, switching all ships that call at the Port of Vancouver from conventional marine fuel to LNG marine fuel would remove 90% of the particulate matter associated with marine shipping from the local airshed, based on a third-party study.

Commenting on the approval, Ian McIver, President of Seaspan Energy said: “Seaspan is pleased to see the Tilbury Marine Jetty Project receive its provincial approval, bringing this important project one step closer to construction and operation. Seaspan is poised to help support the LNG marine fuelling business at this first-of-its-kind facility in Canada that will help develop the LNG market and grow the Port of Vancouver as a hub for clean fuelling.”

In addition to supplying low-emission fuel to a new generation of ocean-going vessels, the Tilbury Marine Jetty project could enable exports of energy produced in British Columbia, where Canada’s first LNG export facility, the Shell-led LNG Canada project in Kitimat, is nearing completion of the first phase. This project, which is said to be the largest private investment in Canadian history, is a joint venture between Shell, PetronasPetroChinaMitsubishi Corporation, and Korea Gas Corporation.

The LNG Canada project brought HaiSea Marine a $500 million contract for harbor and escort tugboat services. Recently, the firm’s new floating operations facility, which will act as the home base for LNG carriers coming to LNG Canada’s export facility, was deemed ready for transportation to Kitimat. These vessels have been described as the world’s greenest tugboat fleet.”

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