Tilbury Phase 2 LNG Expansion project
For more than 50 years, the Tilbury liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility has been at the heart of BC’s energy system, providing natural gas on the coldest days of the year. Now we’re planning to expand our facility to meet increasing demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) into the future and help us reach our target to reduce our customers’ greenhouse gas emissions 30 per cent by 2030.
About this project
LNG is natural gas that has been cooled to -162C, becoming a clear, non-toxic and non-flammable liquid. We use LNG to supplement the Lower Mainland gas supply when you need it most – on days of high demand like when the temperature drops.
The Tilbury Phase 2 LNG Expansion project will improve the resiliency of the gas system – ensuring we have the natural gas supply our customers need in the event of an emergency. It will also help us advance LNG as a marine fuel or meet demand from overseas customers. The project will include the construction of:
- a new storage tank that can hold up to 142,400 cubic metres of LNG, which would increase Tilbury’s current storage capacity approximately 2.5 times
- a new liquefaction unit with capacity of up to 2.5 million tonnes per year to produce LNG for marine fuelling or overseas export
Ship owners are responding to new sulphur emission regulations from the International Maritime Organization by adopting LNG as a marine fuel. Traditionally, about 86 per cent of ocean-going ships have used heavy fuel oils to power their engines, but these oils can be harmful to the environment. As of 2021, up to 30 per cent of new ships on order will feature LNG-ready engines. At the same time, there is growing interest from overseas customers looking to buy LNG from Canada that can be used to replace fuels like diesel and coal, helping lower their carbon footprint.
Our Tilbury LNG facility is ideally positioned to meet these opportunities and we’re aiming to elevate Tilbury’s role in the global transition to lower carbon energy. Tilbury is powered by renewable hydroelectricity, which means it can produce LNG that is nearly 30 per cent less carbon intensive than the average global LNG.
Detailed project description/Environmental Assessment
Following a period of extended early engagement, we’re entering a new phase of the environmental assessment process. Virtual information sessions were hosted on March 3 and 9, 2022 by the BC Environmental Assessment Office. The detailed project description has been filed with the BC Environmental Assessment Office and the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.
We collected input from Indigenous groups, stakeholders and the general public to produce the detailed project description, which outlines the project and its potential impacts.
For more information on the regulatory process please visit:
Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity
The Tilbury LNG Storage Expansion project is subject to regulation by the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC). In December 2020, we filed our project application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity with the BCUC. The project will include the construction of the new LNG storage tank and equipment to increase our capacity to flow gas from the Tilbury LNG facility back into our system that serves BC.
We’ve been engaging local governments, Indigenous groups, landowners, and area residents to share details on the project and obtain feedback. Anyone interested in getting involved with the process can visit the BCUC website.
We’re pleased to be one step closer to ensuring we have an additional backup source of natural gas in the event of a gas supply disruption. If approved, construction of the Tilbury LNG Storage Expansion project could start in 2023 and be completed by 2026.
Community and Indigenous engagement
FortisBC is committed to continuing engagement with the local community, including opportunities for dialogue throughout these regulatory processes. The feedback we received helped make up the application we filed with the BCUC, as well as the detailed project description we submitted to the BC Environmental Assessment Office and the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.
If approved, construction of the Tilbury Phase 2 LNG Expansion project could start as early as 2023 and be completed as early as 2028.
Creating jobs and economic opportunities
Employment, training and contractor opportunities will be available throughout project planning and construction, and approximately another 110 new long-term jobs will be created once construction is complete. Job postings will be added to our career postings when they are available. You can also apply to become a supplier or vendor for the project.
We are working closely with local businesses like Ideal Welders to create local jobs and put money back into the BC economy. Learn about the work we’re doing with Ideal Welders.
May 10, 2022
New study highlights air quality benefits for Metro Vancouver by adopting LNG as a marine fuel
A new study commissioned by FortisBC shows moving to liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Tilbury facility as a marine fuel source would bring near-term air quality improvements to the region, while encouraging the marine shipping industry to advance its efforts to decarbonize.
Learn more about why LNG as a marine fuel unlocks major air quality improvements for Metro Vancouver.
February 24, 2022
Tilbury Phase 2 EA comment period begins
The Tilbury Phase 2 LNG Expansion project has entered a 45-day public comment period led by the BC Environmental Assessment Office (BC EAO). During this time, the public is invited to learn more about the project and participate in virtual information sessions on March 3 and March 9, 2022. For details on how to participate in the environmental assessment process, visit the BC EAO website.
January 12, 2022
Project Achieves Two Regulatory Milestones
This week our Tilbury Phase 2 LNG Expansion project took another significant step forward with two regulatory approvals. Both the BC Environmental Assessment Office (BC EAO) and Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC) have accepted our detailed project description. IAAC also accepted our response to the Joint Summary of Issues and Engagement submitted on January 4, 2022.
Our proposed project moves onto the following:
- BC EAO: Our application has moved to the Process Planning phase of the environmental assessment (EA). Working in collaboration with participating Indigenous groups, this phase formalizes how the project EA will be carried out, including the information to be gathered, who must be involved in the EA, and the timing of each of the subsequent phases of the EA.
- IAAC: IAAC has requested an impact assessment for our project, which is currently in the Planning Stage. The assessment will include the best ways to avoid or reduce the project’s negative impacts, while also enhancing the positive impacts of the project. The timeline for the impact assessment has resumed. The federal minister of environment and climate change has approved the province’s request for substitution of the impact assessment. This means the BC EAO will lead the assessment on behalf of IAAC.
FortisBC is committed to continuing engagement with the local community, including opportunities for dialogue throughout these regulatory processes. The feedback we have received to date has helped us develop our applications and filings.
September 8, 2021
Detailed project description filed with BC EAO
Following a period of extended early engagement, the proposed Tilbury Phase 2 LNG Expansion is entering a new phase of the environmental assessment process. The detailed project description has been filed with the BC Environmental Assessment Office (BC EAO) to complete the early engagement phase of the project. It will also be filed with the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.
Input from Indigenous groups, stakeholders and the general public was incorporated into the detailed project description that outlines the project and its potential impacts. Click here to read more about the early engagement process and how we incorporated feedback into the detailed project description.
December 29, 2020
Project application filed for Tilbury Storage Expansion
Today marks a major step forward as we file our project application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity with the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC). The Tilbury Storage Expansion project would strengthen the resiliency of our natural gas system so that we can help ensure our customers have the energy they need in their homes and businesses.
The project would include the construction of a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage tank and equipment to increase our capacity to flow gas back into our gas system. If approved, construction could start in 2022 and be completed by 2026.
Visit BCUC’s web site to learn more how you can get involved in the BCUC’s regulatory process.
June 1, 2020
Tilbury Phase 2 public comment period begins
The environmental assessment of the Tilbury Phase 2 LNG Expansion Project resumes June 1 with a 45-day public comment period led by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada and BC Environmental Assessment Office. During this time, the public is invited to learn more about the project and participate in virtual open houses on June 18 and June 23. Full details on how to participate online or by phone will be shared soon. For more details on the regulatory process, and to provide input on the project, visit either the EAO or IAAC websites.
April 2, 2020
Engagement timelines for Tilbury Phase 2 LNG Expansion project extended
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, FortisBC has requested and received approval from the Environmental Assessment Office to extend Early Engagement on the Tilbury Phase 2 LNG Expansion Project from 90 days to 120 days. At the same time, FortisBC has requested and received approval from the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada to suspend the 180-day time limit of the Planning Phase for 30 days. This will allow additional time to ensure meaningful engagement with the public, stakeholders and Indigenous groups.
February 27, 2020
Early engagement begins on Tilbury Phase 2 LNG Expansion Project
FortisBC Holdings Inc. (“FortisBC”) has filed an initial project description with regulators to begin the federal impact assessment and provincial environmental assessment processes for the Tilbury Phase 2 LNG Expansion Project (the “Project”).
If approved, the Tilbury Phase 2 LNG Expansion Project may involve:
- Constructing a new tank that could triple the site’s storage capacity and strengthen the resiliency of our gas system
- Constructing additional liquefaction equipment to produce LNG for marine bunkering or bulk export by ship
- If approved, construction could start as early as 2022 and be complete by 2028.
FortisBC is committed to continuing engagement with Indigenous groups and the local community on the Project. As part of early engagement with the public, Indigenous Groups and other stakeholders, FortisBC will be participating in an EAO-led open house scheduled for this spring in Delta.
What is LNG and is it safe?
Liquefied natural gas is made from the same natural gas we use in our homes every day. To make it easier to transport by truck or ship, it is cooled to a liquid form. Within its double-walled insulated storage tank, LNG is maintained in liquid form, without air, and will not burn.
FortisBC’s Tilbury LNG facility has been operating safely since 1971.
Feb 27, 2020
What happens if there is a leak?
LNG is made from the same natural gas we use in our homes and businesses every day. LNG is stored and transported at low pressure in double-walled tanks designed to keep it cold. The tanks are vapour tight, so air cannot get in and LNG cannot leak out. When stored in its double-walled tank, LNG cannot burn because there is no oxygen to react with.
In the unlikely event of a leak, LNG will warm up, rise and dissipate. If spilled, it will quickly warm up and revert to a gaseous state. LNG is flammable only in a narrow range (if the gas to air ratio is between five and 15 per cent). When ignited, LNG burns slowly with a lazy flame.
Feb 27, 2020
What safety measures will be in place?
The Tilbury LNG facility already has procedures and safety measures in place to prevent and manage emergencies. This includes complete on-site fire control and response systems independent of the fire department. The facility is also monitored 24/7 year-round by highly-trained site personnel who have been producing LNG for decades.
We also do regular emergency exercises with first responders to coordinate our response in the unlikely event of an emergency.
Feb 27, 2020
Could LNG have an impact on water or soil?
Liquified natural gas (LNG) is colourless, odourless, non-toxic and non-corrosive. In the unlikely event of a spill, LNG would warm up quickly, turn back into a gas and rise, leaving no residue. If spilled on water, it won’t mix. It remains on the surface until it vaporizes quickly.
Feb 27, 2020
Will this project be regulated by the BC Utilities Commission? What will the rate impact be?
The Tilbury LNG Storage Expansion project is subject to regulation by the BC Utilities Commission. The project would include the construction of the new LNG storage tank and equipment to increase our capacity to flow gas from the Tilbury LNG facility back into our system that serves BC. This will strengthen the overall resiliency of our natural gas system for all customers.
Costs and rate changes were included in our application to the BC Utilities Commission that was submitted on December 29, 2020. The typical FEI residential customer will see an average increase of approximately $6 per year over six years.
Feb 27, 2020
On February 24, 2022, the Tilbury Phase 2 LNG Expansion project entered a 45-day public comment period led by the BC Environmental Assessment Office (BC EAO). During this time, the public is invited to learn more about the project and participate in virtual information sessions on March 3 and March 9, 2022. For details on how to participate, visit the BC EAO website.
To date, our project has progressed through the following regulatory milestones:
- February 2020: Filed the Initial Project Description with the BC EAO and the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC)
- June 2020: Held two public open houses as part of our early engagement
- September 2021: Filed the Detailed Project Description with the BC EAO and IAAC, which both regulators subsequently accepted in January 2022
- January 2022: Filed a Response to the Joint Summary of Issues and Engagement with IAAC and BC EAO, which has been accepted
- January 2022: Received IAAC’s approval of the province’s request for substitution of the impact assessment, which means the BC EAO will lead the assessment on behalf of IAAC
- January 2022: Received the BC EAO’s readiness decision, which indicated our project application has moved to the Process Planning phase of the environmental assessment
We’re committed to ongoing engagement with Indigenous groups so we can better understand the interests, concerns and vision of their respective communities. As the project develops, we will be working with Indigenous groups on securing opportunities for procurement, training and employment as well as oversight of construction and operation.
FortisBC supports the communities where we live and work. A big part of that is providing support for local organizations and the great work they do in the community. Here are some of the organizations in the City of Delta we've supported recently.
Delta Community Animal Shelter
Free seminars for animal lovers, children calmly reading books to purring cats, dogs frolicking in an off-leash fenced yard…no, this isn’t a spa for pets. This is the Delta Community Animal Shelter, and it’s changing perceptions of what an animal shelter can be.
OWL (Orphaned Wildlife) Rehabilitation Centre
Of the 650 to 700 birds of prey that come through its door every year, OWL is able to successfully rehabilitate and release more than 50 per cent back into the wild. Others may be kept at the centre permanently to help with public outreach and education programs in schools, such as long time OWL resident Sonsie, a male bald eagle who is an “education ambassador” for the OWL Rehabilitation Centre.
Reach Child and Youth Development Society
In 2016, FortisBC presented the Reach Child and Youth Development Society with $10,000 for their Building for Children Together project. This venture will see that a new child development centre is built to ensure children with special needs have a safe and accessible location for support.
In 2016, a donation was presented to the Rotary Club of Ladner, and will go towards a brand new water park located in Memorial Park. The upgrade is critical for this park due to safety issues, including an old concrete floor surface.
The water park is directly across from the new Reach Child Development Centre, and the families it supports will be frequent users of the park.
The Tilbury Phase 2 Expansion project regulatory filings with BC Utilities Commission, BC Environmental Assessment Office, and the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada are available below.
Learn more about the Tilbury LNG facility, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and related topics.
Tilbury LNG facility and Phase 2 Expansion project
- Project information sheet
- Video: Tilbury LNG Storage Expansion: Strengthening our system for tomorrow
- FortisBC advances Tilbury Phase 2 LNG Expansion with filing of detailed project description
What is LNG?
- Video: LNG safety demo
- LNG 101
- Seismic stability at our Tilbury LNG facility
- Video: Safety of LNG shipping
- Video: Tilbury marine LNG: reducing emissions, expanding opportunities
- Analysis highlights environmental benefits of Tilbury LNG as a marine fuel
- Video: Fuelling the future with lower-carbon LNG
LNG marine fuelling
Working with our community
- Ideal Welders: Proving industry partnerships are key to local growth
- Menard Canada: Proving “going local” can be good for everyone involved
- Raider Hansen in a local hardware story for BC industry