Members of the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce were given an update on the proposed WCC LNG project during their monthly luncheon on Wednesday.
Scott Pinhey, vice-president of WCC LNG provided an overview of the tasks being undertaken for the planning phase of the project.
As a partnership, ExxonMobil Canada Ltd. and Imperial Oil Resources Limited are looking to develop a liquefied natural gas export facility on the southern portion of a piece of city-owned property on Tuck Inlet, known as District Lot 444.
WCC LNG submitted a project description in January and has started its environmental assessment process.
The National Energy Board granted WCC LNG an export permit for 30 MTA per year in March 2014, with Pinhey informing chamber members that the government recently extended the permit lifespans from 25 to 40 years. In April, WCC LNG advised the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office that it had selected the onshore concept for the facility based on feedback from stakeholders, as opposed to the marine facility concept.
“We would start out with a two-train foundation project … we would look at expansion from there, up to as many trains as five,” said Pinhey, noting the group is considering a 400 hectare footprint in its environmental assessment.
“We’re continually looking to try to minimize the footprint.”
WCC LNG has already completed work gathering baseline information on the archeological, geotechnical and environmental aspects of the site on Tuck Inlet.
Pinhey told chamber members WCC LNG recently established ambient air quality monitoring stations at the site and across the harbour at Seal Cove, and will start regular water quality sampling at Shwatlans Lake and Woodworth Lake later this year.
Starting in June, WCC LNG will hold working group meetings as part of the project’s environmental assessment process, meeting with First Nations stakeholders and undertaking traditional use studies.
“We need to earn trust as we go through this process with how we’re engaging and what actions we actually take, so we’re respecting the community values here,” said Pinhey.
With the Prince Rupert Port Authority, WCC LNG simulated LNG carrier transits through the Prince Rupert harbour to Tuck Inlet to ensure it could be done safely.
“We found that we could easily turn in the Tuck Inlet area in all of the conditions and scenarios where there were emergencies … the end result we’re pretty confident with,” said Pinhey, noting a detailed simulator with real bathymetry and weather conditions was used for the simulation by B.C. marine pilots with experience in the area.
Pinhey encouraged residents to visit the WCC LNG community office in Prince Rupert, located in Suite 111 of 101 First Avenue East, for further information on the project.