Sharing experiences: FortisBC’s LNG facilities in British Columbia

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Doug Stout, VP Market Development & External Relations, FortisBC
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As part of our series of interviews on Canadian LNG project development, we interviewed Doug Stout, VP Market Development & External Relations at FortisBC.

Mr. Stout, who will be speaking at the upcoming  Canada LNG Export Conference & Exhibition in May, shares his company's experience as operator of two LNG facilities in British Columbia.

Gastech News: Considering today’s Canadian natural gas industry, what are the biggest market drivers impacting your company?

Doug Stout: The market price for the commodity. LNG competes with oil, which is currently experiencing some of the lowest prices we’ve seen in many years. While we expect it’ll be a few years before demand for LNG exceeds current supply, there are still major opportunities to be had.

Gastech News: Talking about your Tilbury LNG expansion project, what are some of the steps FortisBC has taken to move forward?

Doug Stout: We’re now in the midst of a $400-million project to build a second storage tank and an additional liquefier at Tilbury, to help meet the growing demand for LNG as an energy source for remote communities, the transportation industry and the marketplace. We’ve secured key local customers and continue to focus on developing customers that are a good fit for the scale of our facility. We are in discussions with Hawaiian Electric regarding LNG supply. If this opportunity is pursued and receives regulatory approval, it would require further expansion of our Tilbury LNG facility.

Gastech News: As FortisBC is operating two LNG facilities in British Columbia, what lessons have you learnt that other companies can learn from?

Doug Stout: Safety first. The key to running efficient and cost effective LNG plants are good preventative maintenance programs that ensure reliable operation. Our LNG storage facilities - Tilbury LNG in Delta and Mt. Hayes LNG on Vancouver Island  - were designed and constructed to meet the latest seismic standards and have numerous layers of safety to protect the facility, employees and the public. We take part in emergency preparedness and response training exercises every year, in participation with local authorities, police and fire departments, so our partners understand the time and attention FortisBC has spent on safety.

Gastech News: What are the main opportunities for production and infrastructure development in Canada?

Doug Stout: B.C. has an abundance of natural gas at long-term, relatively low and stable commodity costs. There is an estimated large supply of gas in northeastern B.C., approximately 2,933 trillion cubic feet. This could support domestic and export markets for 150 years. Combine that with our proximity to Asian markets and you have a great playing field for production and infrastructure development. Furthermore, natural gas is an effective low-carbon fuel that has the potential to provide a climate solution for the world by replacing more carbon-intensive energy sources such as coal.

Gastech News: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Canada LNG Export Conference, and what is your final message to our readers?

Doug Stout: I'm excited about sharing information on our role in the LNG industry and to learn from other industry leaders. And looking forward to having you visit Beautiful British Columbia!

Wednesday 11th May: Doug Stout, VP Market Development & External Relations at FortisBC will be discussing "Upstream & Midstream Opportunities for Production and Infrastructure Development in Canada" at the Canada LNG Export Conference & Exhibition.

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Photo Courtesy of FortisBC: Tilbury LNG tank under construction.