Nov 23, 2019

Inside Canada’s next boom town: Kitimat, B.C. transforms in preparation for a pipeline

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It’s an awe-inspiring scene, set against a backdrop of mountains on the coast of northern British Columbia.

At a construction site larger than 600 city blocks, more than 1,000 workers have started building a massive liquefied natural gas plant and export terminal that is the only energy megaproject in Canada firing on all cylinders.

Scheduled to open in 2025, the project is being built by LNG Canada, a joint venture among Shell, PETRONAS, PetroChina, Mitsubishi and KOGAS, and it has emerged as a beacon of hope for Canada’s energy sector. The giant facility will convert natural gas transported from the province’s northeast on the new 670-kilometre, $6.6-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline, being built by TC Energy Corp.

At the peak of construction, from 2021 through 2024, the LNG Canada project will require up to 7,500 workers.

Once the plant is completed, it will chill natural gas to -162 C to liquefy it. The LNG will then be loaded onto 290-metre-long tankers at the terminal and piloted about 300 kilometres out of Douglas Channel to ocean water by tug boats.

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