The Tilbury liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility is located on Tilbury Island in Delta, British Columbia, Canada. The facility operates as a peak shaving facility and also delivers LNG for trans-Pacific exports.

FortisBC Energy, a subsidiary of FortisBC Holdings, is the owner and operator of the LNG facility.

Tilbury LNG facility, which began operating more than 50 years ago, is being expanded to increase LNG supply for industrial users and remote communities.

The Phase IA expansion of the project was commissioned in 2019, which was followed by an ongoing Phase IB expansion. The construction of Phase I is expected to be completed by 2026.

Tilbury LNG facility is expected to undergo another phase of expansion.

The proposed Phase II expansion will increase LNG production capacity by more than 50% and help in advancing the use of LNG as a marine fuel or meet overseas demand.

If approved, the construction of the C$3bn-C$3.5bn ($2.3-$2.6bn) project is expected to start in 2023 and complete as early as 2028.

Base Plant Details

The original Tilbury LNG facility commenced operations in 1971.

The original facilities include liquefaction, a storage tank, LNG vaporisers for returning liquid to a gas, interconnects, liquefaction refrigerant storage, and truck loading.

Before the expansion, the facility had the capacity to liquefy 5,000 gigajoules (GJ) of natural gas daily and store 600,000GJ.

Tilbury Phase I LNG expansion

The Phase I expansion was approved by the British Columbia (B.C.) government through B.C. Order-in-Council (OIC) (O.C. 557/2013) Direction No. 5 to the BCUC under the Utilities Commission Act.

Phase IA was constructed between 2014 and 2018. The total estimated costs of Phase 1A expansion was approximately C$400m.  The Phase 1A expansion, commissioned in 2019, added a 46,000 cubic metre storage tank and LNG liquefaction capacity of 0.25 million tonnes per annum (MTPA).

The ongoing Phase IB expansion will increase LNG liquefaction capacity up to 0.65MTPA and will enable the facility to meet the growing demand for LNG as a marine fuel.

As of January 2022, the Phase IB facilities are in design and engineering stages.

Tilbury Phase II LNG Expansion

Tilbury Phase 2 LNG Expansion Project comprises a new LNG storage tank with a working volume of 142,400 cubic metres and up to 7,700 tonnes per day of LNG liquefaction capacity for an operational life of minimum 40 years.

The storage tank is required to ensure deliveries during possible interruptions of natural gas supply to the region and support future demand.

The liquefaction capacity is expected to be built in phases of one or more ‘liquefaction trains’ to meet market demand.

The project is expected to receive natural gas at the site through established gas line systems. It will have connections to the existing and proposed LNG facilities at Tilbury and the Tilbury Marine Jetty.

Tilbury Marine Jetty

Tilbury Jetty Limited Partnership, jointly owned by FortisBC and Seaspan affiliates, has proposed to construct a marine jetty in the lower Fraser River at a former industrial site adjacent to Tilbury LNG Storage Facility.

The Tilbury Marine Jetty project and Tilbury Phase 2 Expansion are independent and will advance based on their individual merits.

The project filed Environmental assessment certificate in March 2019.

The Marine Jetty project will include the berthing and transferring of LNG to marine barges and carriers for delivery to local markets and offshore export markets. The jetty will receive supplies via a pipeline from the adjacent Tilbury LNG Plant.

The facility is expected to operate for a minimum of 30 years.

Offtake Agreements

In 2019, FortisBC secured the first export contract for Tilbury LNG facility. The company entered into a supply agreement to produce LNG for Top Speed Energy for exports to China. The two-year agreement included transport of 53,000 tonnes of LNG a year from Tilbury to China by the summer of 2021.

Previously, BC Ferries and Seaspan signed long-term supply agreements to fuel their new LNG vessels from Tilbury. Mining company Teck Resources has also used Tilbury LNG as a fuel source for mine haul trucks.

Contractors Involved

In 2014, FortisBC awarded Bechtel an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract to expand the Tilbury facility.

Bechtel awarded Chart Energy & Chemicals a contract worth around $40m to provide its IPSMR liquefaction technology and C450IMR LNG standard liquefaction plant equipment for the Tilbury Expansion Project.

A Tsawwassen First Nation joint venture partnership provided over $2m worth of civil services related to the Tilbury Phase IA expansion.

Bantrel was responsible for providing engineering and procurement services for key facilities of the project. This includes the gas liquefaction, pre-treatment, compressors, utilities, LNG storage and transfer plant facilities.