After BG Group expressed interest in creating a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Prince Rupert earlier this year, another big-name in the LNG industry has committed interest to creating a new natural gas transportation system that would serve the terminal.
If the project went through the transportation system would begin in northeast B.C. and would end at BG Group’s potential LNG export facility in Prince Rupert. The transportation system would be approximately 850-kilometres and would be capable of transporting up to 4.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.
The Spectra Energy Corporation and BG Group have signed a Project Development Agreement to develop plans together, with both companies agreeing to have equal ownership interest in the project. Spectra Energy would be responsible of constructing and operating the transportation system, and BG Group has agreed to contract for all of the proposed capacity.
“We have been working with BG Group in development of this project for the better part of a year. We’ve got to know them quite well and see them as a very major player that intends to make a very major difference in the LNG market,” said Doug Bloom, president of Spectra Energy Transmission West in an exclusive interview with the Prince Rupert Northern View.
David Byford, spokesman of BG Group in Texas, says that the project is still in the feasibility phase, although they have narrowed their focus to a site on Ridley Island in Prince Rupert.
“We believe [Ridley Island] is an ideal site for a potential LNG facility. It benefits from road and rail access as well as a coastal location and proximity to existing Asia-Pacific markets,” Byford told the Prince Rupert Northern View.
In its announcement, Spectra is assuring that the proposed natural gas line will include not only current standards but also state-of-the-art safety measures.
“We’re very familiar with the technology and terrain in British Columbia. This pipeline we’re designing will use all the latest materials and most current and advance construction techniques. We think it will be very safe and reliable for decades to come,” Bloom assured.
Bloom also believes that communities along the proposed route, and the province will better receive the project than Enbridge’s Northern Gateway oil pipeline.
“I think people ascribe more risk to the environment as a result of oil lines than they do to gas lines,” he said.
Additionally, Spectra estimates that over 4,000 jobs would be created in British Columbia during the construction phase of the project, with around 50 to 60 permanent jobs being created in the company’s portion of the project.
Early conceptual routes have been developed, however Spectra Energy and BG Group will continue to engage with stakeholders, including Aboriginal and local communities, environmental organizations and regulatory agencies to further refine the route.
After further work with stakeholders, project construction is expected to start in 2015, with service starting before 2020.