No new LNG expansion pending from FortisBC on Vancouver Island

Firm says no deal in place with Alaskan applicant, existing Mt. Hayes plant near Nanaimo Airport not suitable for export proposal.

The Mt. Hayes liquified natural gas facility on Mt. Hayes northwest of Ladysmith. FortisBC says it has no plans to utilize it as part of an export proposal being made by an Alaskan firm.

The Mt. Hayes liquified natural gas facility on Mt. Hayes northwest of Ladysmith. FortisBC says it has no plans to utilize it as part of an export proposal being made by an Alaskan firm.

FortisBC says it has no plans to build or supply a new liquefied natural gas operation on Vancouver Island now, or in the near future, or to expand its existing plant.

And any Island connections to a new LNG export proposal that surfaced earlier this month are tenuous at best.

Questions arose on the heels of a report the Alaskan firm Crowley Holdings had applied for an export permit to annually ship up 10 billion cubic feet of excess Canadian natural gas to foreign markets.

That application made reference to the FortisBC LNG storage plant on Mt. Hayes, southwest of the Nanaimo Airport, and led to internet speculation that something new was pending at or near that location.

According to Fortis corporate communications manager Michael Allison, that is not the case.

Allison acknowledged his company may have interest in striking a deal with Crowley at some point, but said no negotiations have taken place. Not only that, he added that any potential future deal would be focused on the expanding FortisBC LNG plant in Delta, not at Mt. Hayes.

“That facility (Mt. Hayes) is not designed for that. Any kind of new activity would be at our facility in Delta,” he said.

Crowley spokesman Matt Slevert confirmed the Mt. Hayes facility was included in its National Energy Board application because it is part of a network that could be used to help feed LNG exports, not because Crowley has immediate hopes to utilize the facility itself.

According to Allison, Delta’s Tilbury plant – operating since 1971 – and the Mt. Hayes plant are the only two LNG facilities currently operating in B.C. Unlike most LNG proposals currently dominating the headlines, they are focused on serving the domestic, not international, market.

Opened in 2011, the Mt. Hayes facility essentially works as a reservoir to ensure Vancouver Island has a long-term supply of natural gas on hand in the event of any service interruption or sudden peak in demand. It cools the gas to a liquefied state and can store up to a month’s supply for the approximately 100,000 Vancouver Island homes and businesses that FortisBC serves.

That network is fed by a pipeline that was built in the early ’90s. It travels under the ocean from Powell River to Comox, then splits – one arm snaking north to Campbell River, the other south through the Mt. Hayes facility and on to Greater Victoria.

The only active new LNG proposal for the Island at the moment is Steelhead LNG’s two-pronged plan to build plants at Bamberton below the Malahat on the Saanich Inlet and at Sarita Bay along the Alberni canal – each to serve the export market.

Steelhead has National Energy Board approval for a licence to export up to 30 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas per year over a 25-year period from the two proposed sites.

The Malahat plant has come under fire from some neighbours around Saanich Inlet, including area First Nations, who say it comes with too much environmental risk. In February, the Cowichan Valley Regional District – home of the existing Mt. Hayes facility — passed a motion it was opposed to any LNG facility being located at Bamberton or anywhere else within the regional district.

— with a file from Craig Spence

 

Just Posted

Two volunteers work to sieve a sample of sand and ocean water through a filter, capturing any potential microplastics. (Courtesy of Ocean Diagnostics)
Victoria startup making waves in microplastics research

New products from Ocean Diagnostics will make research faster, more affordable

Willows Beach in Oak Bay. (Black Press Media file photo)
Seven days of sun set to shine on Greater Victoria

Special weather statement warns of higher than usual temperatures

Chef Trevor Randle leads a June 21 online cooking featuring recipes – beef zesty lettuce wraps, blueberry strudel and blueberry spritzer. (Courtesy We Heart Local BC)
Free online cooking course explores B.C. blueberries and beef

Chef Trevor Randle calls them the province’s most flavourful foods

Island Savings kick-starts the Equipped to Heal campaign with $120,000. (Courtesy Victoria Hospitals Foundation)
Latest Victoria Hospitals Foundation campaign targets $1M for mental health

Goal is to outfit new 19-bed unit at Eric Martin Pavilion

Shaelyn Sinnott of Oak Bay Volunteer Services delivers groceries for client Irene Kenny. The organization has kept up delivery of food and medication throughout all phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy Oak Bay Volunteer Services)
Oak Bay volunteers keep critical services running

Duo drove between Oak Bay and Jubilee three days a week, twice a day during pandemic

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Most Read