OTTAWA—On June 5, the federal government announced the approval of a 40-year natural gas export licence for Woodfibre LNG Ltd.’s proposed facility in Squamish, British Columbia.
Woodfibre LNG, owned by the Singapore-based resource conglomerate Royal Golden Eagle Group, was previously awarded a 25-year licence by the National Energy Board in December 2013 to export 2.1 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas from its southern B.C. site each year.
Woodfibre had its application to extend its export licence from 25 to 40 years greenlit by the NEB on April 6, 2017. The government has since reviewed and approved the NEB’s decision.
The proposed site for Woodfibre’s natural gas processing and export facility was formerly occupied by a 100-year-old pulp mill that the company owned.
The site rests on the shore of Howe Sound in Squamish, roughly an hour from Vancouver.
Woodfibre says it chose the location because it is already zoned industrial, it has a deep water port that has been used for commercial shipping for decades, and it has access to hydroelectric power from BC Hydro—which is expected to reduce the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent.
The company received an environmental certificate for this project from the Squamish Nation Council, a local First Nations governing body, in October 2015, and the federal government approved an environmental assessment in the same year.
The $1.6 billion facility is expected to be up and running by 2020 and create 100 full-time jobs. 650 jobs are anticipated each year for the two-year construction period as well.
Natural gas processed in Squamish will be sent to markets in Asia.
“We know there is tremendous demand for natural gas, especially in the fast-growing countries of Asia. The approval of Woodfibre LNG’s 40-year export licence provides certainty for investors while creating jobs for Canadians as the world moves toward a low-carbon future,” said Jim Carr, federal minister of Natural Resources.
To date, the feds have issued LNG export licenses to 24 projects.