Prince Rupert city council were given some insight into one of the two liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal being proposed on Grassy Point, as Australia’s largest operator of oil and gas prepares to hand in its project description to the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) early next month.
Woodside Petroleum’s manager of indigenous affairs John Litchfield gave a presentation to city council on June 23, informing councillors of facility concepts, potential benefits and consultation plans.
In January, Woodside signed an agreement with the provincial government to investigate the feasibility of building a LNG terminal within 693.6 hectares of land and 243.9 hectares of foreshore on the southern part of Grassy Point, across from Lax Kw’alaams.
Woodside is considering two concepts for the potential facility, an onshore and a nearshore floating terminal. Litchfield said the onshore facility would be constructed in modules, then brought to the site by barge where a workforce would complete it, with the floating facility being brought over in one piece and tethered to the shore.
“The footprint on the land is significantly different, and the way in which they would be built are significantly different,” he said.
According to Litchfield, there would be 1,000 workers during peak construction of the nearshore concept, and 6,000 for the onshore option.
Litchfield said 300 people would make up the operating workforce for the more than 25 years of anticipated operation.
“Our experience in Australia is that maximizing employment opportunities and contracting opportunities with the local business and people, especially [Aboriginal] people, is critical to success,” said Litchfield.
If the project proceeds to operations, product would be shipped to the terminal and converted into LNG to be exported to “Asia and beyond”. Litchfield said Woodside is planning to have four trains producing between 3 and 6.5 million tonnes of liquified natural gas per year, but the project would be built in phases.
“We anticipate there needs to be a lot of consultation. It’s something we’re experienced in and welcome. We understand for Woodside to have a world class operation and profitable business, our social license is one of the most important things,” said Litchfield.
Currently, the company is working on the project description for the B.C. EAO, expected to be complete by early July.