Digby Island being considered as site for LNG export terminal

Residents of Prince Rupert can add Digby Island as a possible location for an LNG export terminal on the North Coast.

Residents of Prince Rupert can add Digby Island as a possible location for a liquefied natural gas export terminal on the North Coast.

Filings from Aurora LNG, which signed an exclusivity agreement for land at Grassy Point, indicate the company is considering locating its terminal either near Lax Kw’alaams or on the southeast portion of Digby Island right at the entrance of the Prince Rupert harbour.

On the land, plans for the terminal would include up to four LNG trains capable of producing between five and six million metric tonnes per year, up to three 180,000 cubic metre LNG storage tanks, a flare system, with the site being powered by natural fas from the plant intake. In terms of on-water infrastructure, the terminal would have a conventional trestle with up to three berths for carriers.

While the diagrams included in the filing include “safety zones”, Prince Rupert Port Authority spokesperson Kris Schumacher said discussions about the on-water berths and impacts on access to the harbour have yet to take place.

“The marine berth as proposed for the terminal would require engagement with the port authority around feasibility and a water lot permit. Currently there is no such agreement and the port authority has had no input,” he said, noting the land itself is not under the umbrella of the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

“The Prince Rupert Port Authority would expect to engage with Aurora LNG in the near-term to discuss marine berth location and design and ensure safe travel and access to the Prince Rupert harbour.”

To accommodate construction, the project would include an onsite work camp to house between 4,000 and 5,000 workers in “motel-style” units. During the operational phase, Aurora LNG said it will use the worker camp for up to 400 “permanent operations and maintenance personnel” as well as provide a space for skills training and capacity building for the community.

Aurora LNG declined to comment, citing the ongoing environmental assessment.