The federal and British Columbia (B.C.) governments have joined forces to push for the electrification of B.C’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry. They have signed a Memorandum of Understanding and have struck a new Canada-British Columbia Clean Power Planning Committee to advance projects that increase power transmission and electrification across B.C. The province and the federal government are currently examining $680 million in near-term electrification projects for joint funding.
LNG plants typically use natural gas to power their liquefaction plants. Already, the natural gas industry produces about 18% of B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to B.C. It estimates that Phase 1 of the massive LNG Canada project in Kitimat will add 3.45 Mt of emissions per year to the atmosphere, raising provincial emissions by roughly another 5%.
B.C. also says that LNG Canada emissions have already been factored into its CleanBC climate action plan, and that any other LNG projects will also have to fit into that plan if they are to gain provincial approval.
Electrification would seem to be the key. Kitimat LNG, a joint venture of Chevron Canada Limited and Woodside Energy International (Canada) Limited, recently amended its proposal for an LNG plant on the north Pacific coast, increasing its proposed capacity by more than 50% and committing to an all-electric design that would make it the cleanest major LNG plant in the world.
The proposal is currently under review by the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office. Chevron and Woodside are not expected to make a final investment decision on the project until 2022 or 2023, according to the project description.