Economic benefits and job creation: What Steelhead LNG is bringing to Canada

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Paul Sullivan, Project Advisor at Steelhead LNG, Strategic Co-Chair of the Gastech Governing Body
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Although Canada's gas and LNG industry has not progressed as quickly as others, 2018 is looking like it will be the year for new and exciting developments for the market. With new regulations and policies being put in place, gas players are starting to look closely at the upcoming projects and predict how they will help with the growing global LNG demand. 

Keen to hear from an industry expert ahead of the Canada Gas and LNG Exhibition and Conference, Gastech Insights spoke with Advisor at Steelhead LNG and Strategic Co-Chair of the Gastech Governing Body to discover more on the Kwispaa LNG project and how it is progressing. 

Gastech Insights: LNG projects do not only bring economic benefits to a region but can also lead to substantial job creation. How can the industry successfully promote these benefits to the wider audiences? 

Paul Sullivan: In my thirty years in the LNG industry and through multiple projects from both the Owner and the Contractor side, I have been actively involved in the promotion of localisation during development, delivery and ongoing operations. Each of these phases has thrown up opportunities for local sustainable participation.

The level of opportunity varies greatly depending on the development stage of the host country or region. In locales where there is little traditional industry, the development tends to start with an evaluation of resources, both human and commercial. This evaluation focuses on the availability of skills, standards of education and size and capability of contractors and suppliers. 

After carrying out this baseline evaluation we determine what training and development programmes would best suit. In addition, we look at the fiscal and management capabilities that exist amongst contractors and suppliers. A matrix system of appropriate sized sub-contracts and contractors/suppliers can then be matched, to enhance the opportunities available, while avoiding overstressing the local market. Choices of construction and fabrication materials and methodologies can also play a part.

The aim of the plan is to provide regional/local opportunities for sustainable business and employment by guided involvement. The long-term outcome of a major development project to a community should be a legacy of enhanced skills and socio-economic improvement.

Gastech Insights: With the first cargo expected to be delivered in 2024, can you share any recent developments on the Kwispaa LNG project? 

Paul Sullivan: The Kwispaa project has been a landmark development in LNG in BC, encompassing as it does best practices which will be a model for future industrial developments in BC. The foresight of Steelhead in concentrating their efforts on developing a partnership with the Huu-ay-aht First Nation, rather than rushing ahead with engineering and other development work, was an exemplar. Project development in BC needs to be advanced at a pace to ensure full and constructive involvement of all stakeholders, in particular, those who will be most affected and involved. This has been the basis of the partnership.

The Kwispaa project has passed through a thorough evaluation by the partners and has completed its LNG liquefaction pre-FEED. Currently, the FEED RFQ is being prepared and will be issued to the four pre-qualified Contractors in the second quarter this year. In parallel additional fieldwork and onshore pre-FEED work is being carried out. All this work is planned to dovetail into a final proposal suitable for FID in late 2019.

Gastech Insights: The Huu-ay-aht First Nations made history last year by becoming the first First Nation in BC to approve and co-manage an LNG facility on their traditional territory. Do you predict we will see more gas players and First Nations working in close collaboration in the coming years? 

Paul Sullivan: As mentioned above, the consolidated approach of the Huu-ay-aht first nation and Steelhead has created a model for other projects in BC and elsewhere in Canada. The Huu-ay-aht’s leadership in this process and their re-validation of principals throughout the period with their elected and hereditary structures has been the strength of the project. There is no doubt that this success will breed further success for other industrial projects in the region. It can be shown that this process reduces uncertainty and improves communication across the board.

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

Paul Sullivan: Having been written off by many, Canadas ability to evolve and develop will come to the fore in the upcoming time. The combination of environmental fortitude, sensitive/sensible development and intellectual rigour will deliver solutions. The success of the existing gas and LNG proponents in getting economic solutions for the production and transportation of gas to the coast and subsequent processing of LNG and other gas-based products will be critical to a successful outcome.Canada, both on the west and east coast, has tremendous potential for responsibly developing gas production and processing for economic betterment and environmental global reduction of GHGs.

To hear more from Mr Sullivan and the project developments in Canada, register for the Canada Gas and LNG Exhibition and Conference now to attend the event 14-16 May in Vancouver. 

Image courtesy of Steelhead LNG