The Woodfibre LNG project
Woodfibre Natural Gas Ltd. has been given permission to build and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant on the Woodfibre industrial site, near Squamish. The plant is projected to export 2.1 million tonnes of LNG per year (about 280 million cubic feet a day), for 25 years. The plant is expected to become operational between 2017 and 2021, pending a final investment decision from the parent company (Woodfibre LNG Export Pte. Ltd).
There is a great deal of concern in communities around Howe Sound about this project. Although the project is not located on Bowen Island, the Conservancy shares this concern, because:
- The project and ongoing operation of the LNG plant has the potential for detrimental impact on Howe Sound, and
- LNG tankers would pass close to our Island if the project proceeds (see map on the right).
The LNG processing and export facility will be located approximately seven kilometres southwest of Squamish, on the existing industrial site of the former Woodfibre pulp mill.
The Conservancy has published this page, and will maintain it, as a source of information for Bowen Island and other communities in Howe Sound.
11 Feb 2015: Questions and facts about the Woodfibre project
We encourage you to download and read this document outlining some questions and facts about the Woodfibre project, and then to make your views about the project known.
11 Feb 2015: What benefits will we receive from the Woodfibre LNG project?
- Won’t there be profits from the sale of LNG?
Profits will go overseas, because the Woodfibre LNG Corporation selling the LNG is registered in Singapore.
- What about Federal taxes?
Because of the organization’s setup, transfer pricing, and international tax treaties, taxes may be applied in Singapore, but not in Canada. Also, if the current proposal to build the plant components overseas goes ahead, there will not be much GST or PST collected, either.
- What about BC provincial taxes?
Provincial taxes are to be levied on net profits from LNG sales (and those profits are accounted for in Singapore). Also, the global price of LNG is dropping (because the global supply is increasing) and the less an LNG company earns, the more the construction cost write-off will cut into BC’s tax on net profits.
There will be no carbon tax gains, since the gas isn’t going to be used/burned in BC.
- Will there be increased Municipal tax revenues?
Not much, because the provincial government plans to cap these taxes for oil & gas projects.
- Will there be lots of long-term jobs created by this project?
There are projected to be up to about 100 long-term jobs. Woodfibre doesn’t expect to hire many people presently in Canada to operate the LNG plant. There aren’t any such plants in the country at present, and to run a plant, a person requires prior experience.
The 100 long term jobs will include the following skilled jobs: tug boat operators, water taxi operators, millwrights, pipe fitters, management, accountants, finance, power engineers, mechanical/electrical, and some maintenance type jobs. There will also be some general labourers, as well as security guards.
Jul 8 2014: Information session on the Howe Sound LNG Experiment at Woodfibre
The Future of Howe Sound Society and My Sea to Sky, with Eoin Finn PhD, presented an information session concerning the WoodFibre LNG project. Dr. Eoin Finn is a retired KMPG partner, and he possesses a PhD in physical chemistry, as well as an MBA in international business. He is a 30 year part-time resident of Bowyer Island, in Howe Sound
The presentation by Dr. Finn was recorded and is available on YouTube. It provides a large amount of useful technical and scientific information concerning LNG projects in general, and the Woodfibre project in particular.
Premier Clark intends for Woodfibre Liquid Natural Gas near Squamish to be the first LNG processing and export facility on the coast, with a 2017 operational target date. If it proceeds to operational status, 1,000 foot long LNG supertankers, carrying Class A Hazardous cargo, will cross BC Ferry lanes as they travel through Howe Sound.
Documents and links
- The Woodfibre LNG Project's website.
- The Provincial Government's Environmental Assessment Office Project documentation web page on the Woodfibre LNG project.
- The Federal Government Environmental Assessment Agency's web page, concerning the project.
- Comprehensive overview of the LNG project, containing maps, complete project description, proposed activities, anticipated emissions, and biophysical/socal context, prepared by Golder Associates for the project proponent.
- Map showing proposed LNG tanker routes
- There are still many important unanswered questions about the impact of LNG: web page from The Pembina Institute.
- Woodfibre applies to export LNG from former B.C. pulp mill: article from the National Post (July 2013).
- Pressure for quick LNG approvals may trigger backlash: article from The Globe and Mail (January 2014).
- Howe Sound LNG plant plan questioned: article from the North Shore News (February 2014).
- Singapore's Pacific Oil & Gas boosts Woodfibre LNG project in Squamish: article from The Georgia Straight (March 2014).
- More Answers Needed on Squamish Woodfibre LNG: article from the Squamish Reporter (March 2014).
- B.C. on track to have Woodfibre LNG project running by 2017: Clark: article from the Globe and Mail (May 2014).