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Energy hunger drives demand for more LNG ports

Irwin Rapoport

The growing demand for natural gas in Canada and the United States is driving construction of facilities to receive the natural gas and process it for shipment.

Energy Projects

Ports being built across Canada to handle ship to shore LNG

MONTREAL

The growing demand for natural gas in Canada and the United States is driving construction of facilities to receive the natural gas and process it for shipment.

This fall an environmental assessment will rule on a joint proposal by Petro-Canada and TransCanada Pipelines, to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal at Cacouna, Quebec, 200 kilometers east of Quebec City.

“We have a front-end engineering and design study underway,” said John Van der Put, TCP director of LNG development. “Our estimate is it will cost $660 million.”

LNG ships will offload weekly, generating about 500 million cubic feet (MMcf) of natural gas per-day.

Construction should not be too technically challenging, saud Van der Put.

“The only specialized techniques would include some tnine-per-cent nickel steel,” said Van der Put. “The overall construction effort would really be conventional construction methods with conventional materials.”

Canada currently has three LNG storage (gasification) facilities – Montreal, Sudbury and near Vancouver, but they can’t handle LNG tankers.

Now under construction are the Canaport LNG project in Saint John, New Brunswick by Irving Oil and Repsol YPF, a Spanish oil and gas company and the $650 million Bear Head LNG project near Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia, by the Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.

The $750 million Canaport project will process up to one billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas per-day and is slated for operations in late 2008.

Onshore construction is scheduled to begin in mid-2006 creating up to 700 construction jobs during the peak.

Bear Head will process one billion (Bcf) cubic feet of natural gas per-day.

Another five projects are currently at various stages of the environmental assessment process.

Two are in Quebec: the Rabaska project in Levis – Enbridge, Gaz Metro and Gaz de France and the Grande-Anse project in Sagenuay – Energie Grande-Anse and another is in Goldboro, Nova Scotia – Keltic Petrochemicals and Maple LNG.

There are also two in British Columbia – Kitimat and in Prince Rupert, a project proposed by WestPac LNG Corporation.

Recently, a third LNG terminal, being proposed by Kitimat LNG, received provincial approval, while federal approval is still pending.

According to NRCan, there are more than 60 LNG import terminals planned for North America. New on-shore facilities have not been built in North America in nearly three decades.

The Cacouna terminal will require a 250-kilometer pipeline to link it with the Trans-Quebec and Maritime System, the eastern extremity of the cross-Canada natural gas transportation network.

There’s also a proposal to install a 145-kilometer underground Brunswick Pipeline to connect the Canaport LNG terminal at Mispec Point near Saint John to markets in Maritimes Canada and the Northeastern United States.

Construction of the Brunswick Pipeline is planned to begin in 2007 and be in-service by November 2008.

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