WestPac LNG Corporation

WestPac LNG Corporation

June 06, 2006 09:00 ET

WestPac LNG Corporation: Approval Process Begins for Prince Rupert LNG Terminal

PRINCE RUPERT, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - June 6, 2006) - WestPac LNG Corporation is proposing to build a $350 million dollar Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) receipt and transshipment terminal on Ridley Island, an industrial park 11 kilometres outside of this northern port city. The Calgary-based company has formally begun the environmental assessment and regulatory review process by filing its Project Description with the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

"When built, our terminal will provide the Northwest Coast, Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland of BC with access to a reliable supply of natural gas that should contribute to future economic development and power possibilities," says Mark Butler, President of WestPac.

To conduct the environmental assessment, WestPac has retained Jacques Whitford -- a national consulting firm that has successfully completed several LNG-related environmental assessments on both coasts of Canada and in Qatar, in the Middle East.

WestPac earlier entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Prince Rupert Port Authority for a 30-year lease, with a provision for three, ten-year extensions, with the Port for 100 hectares on Ridley Island adjacent to existing grain and coal shipping terminals.

The Project will include a new marine berthing facility with transfer piping to onshore LNG storage tanks; two to four onshore LNG storage tanks, with a total capacity to transship the natural gas equivalent of up to one billion cubic feet per day of LNG; a natural gas liquids extraction facility, with storage; infrastructure for barge, rail car and truck, LNG and natural gas liquids loading; and LNG re-gasification facilities with a capacity of up to 130 million cubic feet per day of natural gas and related infrastructure for interconnection to existing pipelines at the Project site.

The Prince Rupert LNG terminal will create at least 300 jobs during construction and about 30 full time jobs once operational in 2011. The proposal has already received expressions of support from the local community as a means of bringing natural gas to the area for affordable energy to support existing industry and enable future economic development.

A full and complete analysis of any risks associated with the establishment of the LNG terminal will be met through the environmental assessment and regulatory review of the project. The proposed terminal will be designed and constructed to Canadian and international standards for LNG facilities. There will be an extensive public consultation process. "We are committed to treat any concerns with thoughtful regard and consideration," says Butler.

The Prince Rupert Port Authority operates the deepest harbour in North America offering easy and ice-free navigation access that can safely accommodate LNG tankers. "The port will rigorously assess the proposed terminal beginning with a full environmental assessment," notes Don Krusel, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. "We know numerous ports around the world operate safe LNG facilities and we're confident that WestPac will develop and operate their facility to the highest standards."

Krusel points out that the LNG facility also fits well with the Port's strategic plan to diversify port operations and grow a dynamic and sustainable business that will also help ensure the long-term economic health Prince Rupert and the region.

Prince Rupert Mayor Herb Pond agrees, adding, "An unrestricted supply of natural gas becomes a catalyst for future investment and jobs because the availability of abundant, secure supplies of natural gas will remove bottlenecks that have constrained growth and development in the past."

LNG facilities are not new to British Columbia. A production facility has operated in the Tilbury Island region of Greater Vancouver since 1971 without incident. Seven LNG projects have been announced in Canada including a proposed terminal in Kitimat and an LNG project was approved on Vancouver Island within the past year.

The LNG terminal will help meet future demand for natural gas and electricity in BC and across North America at a time when costs are rising and reserves are decreasing. It will provide new and flexible energy options for planners in the Province of British Columbia by allowing access to natural gas in volumes and at locations where gas was not previously available or where it could not be economically transported.

LNG is transported in specially insulated ships and pumped into safe double-walled storage tanks at LNG terminals for later delivery by smaller vessels, truck or rail. LNG can be re-gasified for distribution through the natural gas pipeline system.

Liquefied natural gas is created by cooling natural gas into a liquid state at a temperature of minus 162C. This reduces the space natural gas occupies by 600 times making it practical for transport and storage. It has been safely transported by ship, truck and rail car for more than 50 years. More than 33,000 ship cargos of LNG have been safely transported over a combined distance of 60 million miles without serious mishap or fatality. Annually, more than 150 ocean tankers safely transport more than 110 million tonnes of LNG, a volume greater than all gas consumed in American homes each year. LNG provides the only source of natural gas for use in both Korea and Japan, with one LNG cargo arriving into Tokyo Harbour every 20 hours.

Contact Information

  • WestPac LNG Corporation
    Mark Butler
    (403) 770-6027
    WestPac LNG Corporation
    Jeff Domansky
    Vice President, Communications
    (604) 689-5559 or Cell: (604) 880-8569
    Peak Communicators Ltd.
    Alyn Edwards
    (604) 689-5559 or Cell: (604) 908-7231
    Prince Rupert Port Authority
    Barry Bartlett
    Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs
    (250) 627-2509