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Energy innovation
 / 04.23.19

What rising demand for B.C.’s LNG means for jobs

B.C.’s abundant supply of natural gas is creating new and exciting opportunities.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a low-carbon fuel with a big role to play in B.C.’s future. LNG is created by chilling natural gas to -162 C to make it safer and more efficient to transport. It is an increasingly popular fuel for transport, industry and energy generation.

How we use LNG today

As a cleaner alternative to gasoline and diesel, LNG has an important role to play in helping the province meet its carbon emission reduction goals. The transportation sector – ranging from cars to heavy duty trucks to ferries – accounts for 39 per cent of the province’s CO2 emissions.

There is already a growing appetite for cleaner fuel alternatives in commercial transportation, to reduce emissions and save money. BC Ferries and Seaspan Ferries have multiple vessels running on LNG, while companies like UPS, Vedder Transport and Smithrite Disposal have trucks powered by compressed natural gas. B.C. is also home to a growing number of buses fuelled by natural gas.

FortisBC has also been supplying LNG to China since 2017, where there is a growing demand for LNG for heating and power generation.

Switching to LNG today offers marine and land transport operators the opportunity to not only reduce their emissions and improve air quality, but also lower their costs.

Sarah Smith Director, natural gas for transportation, regional LNG and RNG, FortisBC

Investing in infrastructure for our future

Natural gas could become B.C.’s main energy source in the future and LNG has a role to play in helping new customers make the switch from diesel and oil to this cleaner burning natural gas. The infrastructure needed to support this is significant – and we’ve already started investing in the future.

Our Tilbury LNG facility in Delta opened in 1971 and an expansion will be completed soon. The expansion will dramatically increase our LNG production and storage capacity.

In order to serve growing demand from marine customers, a jetty is being proposed at an adjacent site. This facility would allow for expanded use of LNG as a marine fuel, as well as providing for larger volumes of B.C.’s LNG to be exported to Asia where it is used in place of coal and heavy fuel oil.

FortisBC is also preparing to build the Eagle Mountain-Woodfibre Gas Pipeline to supply Woodfibre LNG’s export terminal near Squamish. This means adding about 50 kilometres of gas line to expand our existing transmission system.

FortisBC Tilbury LNG facility in Delta

The Tilbury LNG facility expansion will mean we can meet the growing demand for natural gas from transportation and industry.

Rob Dunsmore Project Director, Tilbury LNG expansion

More demand means more jobs

Big projects create big opportunities. Millions of hours of work have been logged by hundreds of tradespeople expanding our Tilbury LNG facility since work started in 2014. An estimated 140 companies from across the Lower Mainland like Delta’s Ideal Welders have provided specialized products and services. With more LNG projects such as Woodfibre and LNG Canada on the way, the employment benefits are set to grow.

It’s not just tradespeople and construction workers that benefit. It takes a village to deliver a major project, ranging from engineers and safety and environmental experts to administrative and regulatory support.

Natural gas already employs thousands of people across the province and as demand for B.C.’s LNG grows so too will opportunity, creating thousands of new well-paying jobs.

FortisBC construction worker welding

The BC construction workforce is highly skilled and will not only build LNG projects, but also mentor hundreds of apprentices from Indigenous communities and women who want careers in construction. We need new workers in our industry to continue to build our economy, and LNG projects like Tilbury serve that purpose as well.

Tom Sigurdson Executive Director, BC Building Trades

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