ST. JOHN’S—Canadian utility firm, Fortis Inc., has signed an agreement to export liquefied natural gas midway across the Pacific from its LNG facility in Delta, B.C.
The company’s Hawaiian subsidiary has struck a deal with the Hawaiian Electric Company Inc. to deliver 800,000 metric tons of LNG to the Hawaiian Islands annually, beginning in 2021.
“FortisBC is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the strong market demand for clean-burning B.C. natural gas as a bridge fuel in the transition to renewable energy production,” Barry Perry, the company’s president and CEO, said. “Our small-scale Tilbury facility fits well with the needs of customers like Hawaiian Electric and shipping from Canada’s West Coast costs less than from other locations, including the U.S.”
Hawaii is working to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from its electrical grid by 2045—no small task for an island community—and plans to use natural gas as a cleaner “bridge fuel” between oil and emissions-free renewables.
In order to support the agreement, Fortis hopes to expand its Tilbury LNG facility. It is proposing the construction of additional liquefaction equipment, a new storage tank and a new power line at the West Coast site. It hopes to begin construction on the project in 2018 if it is able to clear the regulatory hurdles involved.
The deal remains conditional pending regulatory approvals for the expanded facility in B.C. as well as similar regulatory barriers in Hawaii.