Woodfibre LNG is a natural gas liquefaction and export facility being built around 7km south-west of Squamish, British Columbia, Canada.

The project will have 250,000m3 of storage capacity and is licenced to export around 2.1 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per annum.

Woodfibre LNG is owned and operated by a privately held Canadian company Woodfibre LNG Limited Partnership.

In July 2022, Pacific Energy and energy infrastructure company Enbridge entered into an agreement to jointly invest in the development of the $5.1bn project.

Under the terms of the agreement, Enbridge will have 30% ownership stake in the project. Pacific Energy will retain the remaining 70% stake and will continue to be in charge of daily operations.

A part of the capital of the project will support the construction for the expansion of FortisBC Energy’s Eagle Mountain to Woodfibre pipeline that will connect the facility to Enbridge’s T-South natural gas transmission system.

The construction of the project is slated to commence in September 2023. It is expected to reach substantial completion in the third quarter of 2027, and start operations in the same year.

Woodfibre LNG location details

Woodfibre LNG project is being developed on the previous Woodfibre pulp mill site located near Squamish. Britannia Beach is nearly 5.5km from the site.

The company acquired the site from Western Forest Products in February 2015. The sale included 212 acres of industrial waterfront land located southwest of Squamish as well as all associated foreshore leases, water licences and permits.

The site is approximately 70km from the urban centre of Metro Vancouver.

Regulatory Milestones

The National Energy Board (NEB) in Canada approved the export licence for the Woodfibre LNG Project in December 2013.

In October 2015, the project received approval from British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office (BC EAO) and Squamish Nation.

It obtained green light from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Office (CEAA) in March 2016 and the term of the licence granted in 2013 was increased from 25 years to 40 years in April 2017.

In July 2017, BC EAO approved the change in cooling technology following Squamish Nation’s selection of air cooling for LNG plant. CEAA approved the change in March 2018.

Woodfibre LNG signed Impact Benefit Agreement with Squamish Nation and Government of British Columbia (BC) in 2019. The BC Oil and Gas Commission facilities permit was also received in the same year.

Woodfibre LNG project details

The Woodfibre LNG project is expected to be developed in a single phase.

The former Woodfibre pulp mill included a brownfield site, an existing deep water port, access to FortisBC pipeline and access to BC Hydro transmission grid.

Overall, the project will include natural gas pre-treatment and liquefaction plant, flare, floating storage and offloading (FSO) unit, marine offloading facility and supporting infrastructure such as LNG plant control centre, warehouse(s) and heliport among others.

According to the Woodfibre LNG executive summary published in 2013, two possible configurations were considered regarding the gas pre-treatment and LNG processing facilities of the project.

The preferred configuration was placing the gas pre-treatment and LNG processing prefabricated modules on a permanently moored nearshore floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) barge. The alternative configuration involved placing the gas pre-treatment and LNG processing prefabricated modules on land.

The Woodfibre LNG facility will receive natural gas from FortisBC’s Eagle Mountain-Woodfibre Gas Pipeline (EGP) and will remove impurities by freezing during the liquefaction process.

The LNG will then be transferred floating storage and offloading unit, from where it will be loaded into carriers for shipments.

It is estimated that around 650 people will be working on the Woodfibre LNG site during peak construction.

Power Infrastructure

The Woodfibre LNG facility’s electric motor drives will be powered by renewable hydroelectricity. This will make the project one of the lowest-emission LNG export facilities in the world.

Electric services company BC Hydro, which will supply power to the project, is expected to build a temporary solution to provide power to the facility by upgrading the existing 138kV transmission line located between Gibsons and Cheekye substations.

Eventually, the company will deliver the permanent solution that will involve connecting the LNG facility to the existing 500kV transmission line.

In March 2023, Woodfibre LNG announced a plan to achieve net zero emissions by the time operations commence in 2027.

It includes implementing certain greenhouse gas (GHG) reducing technologies as well as identifying opportunities to reduce emissions as relevant technologies develop further.

Woodfibre LNG offtake agreements

In May 2021, Woodfibre LNG signed second LNG Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with BP Gas Marketing Limited (BPGM) to deliver 0.75 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG over 15 years on a free on board (FOB) basis.

These two agreements represented 70% of the capacity.

Earlier in 2016, the company’s Singapore-based affiliate Woodfibre LNG Export signed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) with Guangzhou Gas Group for a potential LNG offtake of 1 mtpa of LNG for 25 years.

Another heads of agreement (HoA) was signed with CNOOC Gas and Power Trading & Marketing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Gas and Power Group, in September 2018 for a potential offtake of 0.75 Million Metric Tonnes per annum (mmtpa) of LNG for 13 years.

Contractors involved

Technology company The Linde Group won a contract to provide engineering and procurement services for Woodfibre LNG plant in September 2014.

US-based engineering company KBR received a multi-phased contract for Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) for the Woodfibre LNG Project in March 2016.

Woodfibre LNG signed an engineering, procurement, fabrication, and construction (EPFC) contract with McDermott International in November 2021. In April 2022, Woodfibre LNG issued Final Notice to Proceed to the company to mobilise them for construction.

In February 2022, Tutor Perini Corporation subsidiary Frontier-Kemper Constructors secured a C$341m ($267m) contract from FortisBC Energy for the tunnel component of the Eagle Mountain - Woodfibre Gas Pipeline project.

Siemens Energy was selected in July 2022 to power Woodfibre LNG project. The scope of the contract includes all equipment for main refrigeration trains, including compressors, synchronous motors, variable speed drives, converter transformers, harmonic filters, and multiple powerhouses.

Graham Construction was contracted in October 2022 to manage clean-up of previous pulp and paper infrastructure.