Interview with Woodfibre LNG: What is next for the project in 2018

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Byng Giraud, VP, Corporate Affairs & Country Manager, Woodfibre LNG
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By 2030, McKinsey has estimated the share of natural gas in the global energy mix will grow from 22% in 2016 to 23%, driven mainly by the growth in China, India and South East Asia. With the West Coast of Canada being a prime location for LNG facilities due to its proximity to Asia, the region is to meet this growing demand.

Keen to learn more about the Woodfibre LNG Project, Gastech Insights spoke with Executive Advisory Board Member of the Canada Gas & LNG Exhibition and Conference and VP of Corporate Affairs & Country Manager at Woodfibre LNG, Byng Giraud.

Gastech Insights: At the end of 2017 KBR were selected to carry out Pre-NP services for the Woodfibre LNG project. What is next for the project in 2018?

Byng Giraud: For the Woodfibre LNG Project, we are currently working through some technical aspects, including continuing to address permitting and other regulatory requirements, and, we will be working through the terms and conditions of an Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contract.  Based on our current schedule, we expect to award an EPC contract in 2018.

Gastech Insights: What is the potential competitiveness of Woodfibre LNG on global markets?

Byng Giraud: Woodfibre LNG specifically and Canada generally have the opportunity to be very competitive on the world markets. We have world-class gas assets, a cooler climate, a stable political environment and proximity to markets. But in order to get gas to market, we must keep our eye on price. Asia wants Canadian gas as part of the energy mix but not at any price. As companies, we need to closely watch costs, and our national and provincial governments must ensure their regulatory and taxation regimes are internationally competitive.  If all of this falls into place, we can meet or beat the prices of other jurisdictions and build a world-class industry with gas that is supplied in a safe, environmentally conscious and socially progressive manner.

Gastech Insights: With the Canadian Government continuing to support natural gas, how will their support advance the LNG industry in the region?

Byng Giraud: In partnership with the BC LNG Alliance, we are working with both the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia to address some competitiveness issues that proposed LNG Projects in British Columbia are facing.   Even with natural gas prices historically down, LNG projects in other jurisdictions are going ahead.  For Canada to establish an LNG industry on the west coast, we need these barriers of competitiveness to be removed. This is a highly competitive industry that requires diligence on the part of the government to ensure we are not putting ourselves unnecessarily at a cost disadvantage.

Gastech Insights: Why should industry players attend the Canada Gas and LNG Exhibition and Conference in May?

Byng Giraud: The Canada Gas and LNG Exhibition and Conference is a prime opportunity for the industry to learn more about the emerging projects in BC and the associated requirements of those projects, for example; contracts for goods and services, opportunities to market gas assets, and/or a chance for potential customers to learn more about Canada’s world-class gas assets.

The Canada Gas and LNG Exhibition and Conference in May will identify the opportunity, tackle the challenges and finally, set out the solution for long-term gas monetisation in Canada. Register today while the early bird rate still applies.

Image courtesy of Woodfibre LNG