Canada’s Haisla Nation seeks LNG export licences

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An LNG export development company owned by Canada’s Haisla Nation has submitted export licence applications to the National Energy Board for three proposed liquefaction projects. Cedar LNG Export Development Ltd. says the reason for submitting separate applications is that “each application will represent a separate project with independent commercial dealings with investors, gas producers, LNG purchasers, pipeline transmission companies, technology providers and shippers”. The marketing focus will be on Asia.

The news underlines how sponsors of prospective projects to export LNG from Canada continue to submit licence applications, despite the plethora of projects already proposed. The NEB has now received a total of 26 applications, of which five were submitted by Steelhead LNG and two by Pieridae Energy, as well as the three by Cedar. All the others are single applications.

To date, 11 applications have been approved, of which seven have had licences issued. Three applications, including the two from Pieridae – which are for the proposed Goldboro project on the east coast  – have been deemed “incomplete” and 12 remain “under review”. Interestingly, no applications have yet been turned down.

Direct participation: The Haisla applications are significant in that, if the proposed projects go ahead, the Haisla people will be directly involved as participants in Canada’s LNG industry, rather than having only royalty or indirect interests in projects sponsored by other companies.

Map of Haisla territory in Canada

The Haisla territory, located on four million acres on British Columbia’s west coast, has been occupied by the Haisla people for 9,000 years.

The applications state that: “The Haisla’s business philosophy is to advance commercially successful initiatives and to promote environmentally responsible and sustainable development, while minimising impacts on land and water resources, partnering with First Nations and non-First Nations persons, working with joint venture business partners, and promoting and facilitating long-term development opportunities.”

They also state that the Haisla remain “very supportive” of the Kitimat LNG and LNG Canada projects, and their associated Pacific Trails Pipeline and Coastal Gas Link Pipeline, which are located in the Haisla territory, because they “have increased economic opportunities in the region”.

Floating LNG: The export licence applications each relate to a proposal for volumes of up to 2.9 mtpa, with a 15% annual tolerance, over a period of 25 years. Each project will be operated by a separate project company. Together the applications amount to a total export capacity of 2 Bcf/d. The point of export would be at the outlet of the loading arm of the liquefaction terminals, which would be located in the Northern Douglas Channel, near Kitimat.

The projects would be developed using either barge-based or converted Moss-style floating LNG (FLNG) vessels. The terminals would consist of vessel-based liquefaction and processing facilities, vessel-based storage tanks, and facilities to support ship berthing and cargo loading. Cedar says it plans to use vessels and technology provided by Golar LNG, of a design currently being built in Singapore by Keppel Shipyard.

The liquefaction technology would be the Prico process developed by Black & Veatch, which Cedar claims is “reliable, flexible and offers simplified operation and reduced equipment count”. The jetties may either accommodate a single FLNG vessel or be “double stacked”, with two FLNG vessels moored side-by-side at a single jetty.

Each FLNG vessel would have a gas intake requirement of 400 MMcf/d and would have annual production capacity of 2.5-2.8 mtpa. Around 12% of the supplied gas would be consumed in the production of LNG, says Cedar.

Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin: Gas supply for the LNG export projects is anticipated to come from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) with Cedar acting on its own behalf, or in coordination with LNG purchasers, or as agent on behalf of third parties with access to gas resources.

Cedar adds that: “It is expected that this gas supply will be secured through a variety of commercial arrangements, including agreements made with owners of the gas resources, gas purchase contracts, and through transactions made at market hubs.”

The projects would be connected by pipeline systems to principal markets and hubs in western Canada, where large volumes of natural gas are traded. The

Haisla are in discussion with a number of pipeline transmission companies and expect to use existing pipeline systems, as well as new ones.

Canada LNG Export Conference: As Gastech News has recently reported, as many of the stakeholders in the numerous proposed LNG export projects in Canada come together later this month for the Canada LNG Export Conference in Calgary , one of the main preoccupations of the delegates will be the question of when we will finally see the first final investment decisions (FIDs) on actual projects.

This autumn will be a critical time for Canada’s nascent LNG industry, as it awaits finalisation of the fiscal terms that will contribute to providing the certainty needed for these multi-billion dollar projects to go ahead.

In May, at an LNG conference in Vancouver, British Columbia premier, Christy Clark (pictured above), gave a progress report on agreements that had been reached with Malaysia’s Petronas, which is leading the Pacific Northwest LNG project, and with Woodfibre, during an international trade mission to Asia:

“Petronas is scheduled, as you may know, to be the first major project to reach FID,” she said. “Woodfibre is expected to be the first LNG plant in operation in BC. And with both companies we agreed to finalise our project development agreements by November 30th at the latest. That is the last step before getting to FID.”

By Alex Forbes