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 / 10.24.19

Fast facts about LNG

When the Tilbury LNG storage facility in Delta launched in 1971, the facility’s sole purpose was to store natural gas in liquid form until it was needed during cold winter months, or times of peak demand. Fast forward to 2019. Tilbury’s recently completed expansion project is helping us meet the growing demand for cleaner energy—both locally and globally.

We’re already providing LNG for the marine bunkering and trucking transportation sectors and for small-scale export.

Our vision for the future is to increase that—to position BC as a vital domestic and international LNG provider for transportation and LNG exports.

LNG also has a role to play in helping us meet our 30BY30 Target to reduce our customers’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 30 per cent by the year 2030.

As LNG increasingly becomes a part of our low-carbon energy future, more people are talking about it. Join the conversation. Here’s a snapshot of what you need to know.

What is LNG?

LNG is made from the same natural gas we use to heat our homes and cook our food. When natural gas is cooled to -162 °C it liquefies and becomes much more condensed - roughly the equivalent of shrinking a beach ball to the size of a ping pong ball. In liquid form, it can be efficiently stored and transported inside a double-walled container similar to a thermos. Natural gas burns cleaner than other fossil fuels. That’s why it’s seen as a global contributor to the reduction of GHG emissions, as countries move away from using coal-fired or diesel fuels in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions and improve air quality.

Natural gas is the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel. The increased use of LNG is an opportunity to lower greenhouse gas emissions on a wider scale.

Sarah Smith, FortisBC
Sarah Smith Director Low Carbon Transportation & LNG Business Growth, FortisBC

How does LNG interact with the elements?

LNG is colourless, non-toxic, non-corrosive and extremely cold. In the unlikely event of a spill, LNG warms up quickly, turns back into a gas and dissipates, leaving no residue. One of the reasons it’s an attractive option as a marine fuel is because if it’s spilled on water, it won’t mix. It stays on the water’s surface, then evaporates.

Vancouver is already known for its world-class marine facilities. When you combine that with having convenient access to LNG at the Tilbury facility in Delta, it’s not surprising that Vancouver is poised to become an LNG marine bunkering hub.

LNG’s unique properties make it a safe and affordable option as a marine transportation fuel.

Brent de Waal, FortisBC
Brent de Waal Education and Outreach, FortisBC

Working safely with LNG

Our LNG storage facilities are monitored 24/7 year-round by highly-trained site personnel who have been producing LNG for decades.  Within its double-walled insulated storage tank, LNG is maintained in liquid form, without air, and will not burn. The tanks are vapour tight, so air can’t leak into the tanks and LNG can’t leak out.

In the unlikely event of an emergency, local first responders are well prepared. We conduct regular training exercises with fire departments, and other emergency personnel, to make sure they know how to safely handle LNG. The training is shared with fire departments across BC, wherever LNG is stored or transported.

We work closely with FortisBC to make sure our first responders are trained in the unlikely event of an LNG emergency. This training includes participating in regular emergency exercises together.

Dan Copeland Councillor, City of Delta and former Delta Fire Chief