Woodfibre LNG first facility to commit to net zero emissions

By Energy Connects

May 04, 2023

image is Woodfibre LNG Image

Woodfibre LNG site

Since 1912, Swiy̓át (the Woodfibre LNG site’s traditional Squamish Nation name) has provided industrial opportunities for generations of local families in the community. Woodfibre LNG is keeping up this tradition. For over 100 years, the site, which lies approximately 7 kilometres southwest of Squamish, British Columbia, Canada, was home to one of British Columbia’s oldest pulp mills.

In 2015, Woodfibre LNG, a privately held Canadian company, held 70 per cent by Pacific Energy Canada and 30 per cent by Enbridge, took ownership of the industrially zoned site and began planning for a 2.1 mtpa, liquefied natural gas export facility. In March this year, Woodfibre LNG announced its Roadmap to Net Zero, which will make it the first export facility in the world to achieve net zero emissions, by the time it is operational in 2027. The Project has prioritised emissions avoidance and reduction opportunities from the outset and the Roadmap commits the Project to be net zero both through construction and during operations.

The Woodfibre LNG Project has regulatory approvals from the federal and provincial governments and is the first industrial project in Canada to recognise a non-Treaty Indigenous government, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), as an environmental regulator. As a result of consultation with the Squamish Nation, Woodfibre LNG made important design changes to minimise concerns about impacts to the marine and air environment, including:

  • Changing the location of the facility from floating to on-land
  • Selecting air cooling technology for the facility, rather than seawater cooling, which uses less energy

This first-of-its-kind partnership – coupled with the unique features and geography of the site: an existing natural gas pipeline; electrical transmission line; and a deep-water port, have collectively lent themselves to propelling Woodfibre LNG to be the lowest-emission facility in the world, with a carbon intensity of 0.04 (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per tonne of LNG).[1] Woodfibre LNG is one of the first LNG facilities in Canada to commit to being powered by electric drive compressors using renewable hydroelectricity to power the main liquefaction process - this will result in 14 times fewer stationary combustion emissions compared to a conventional LNG facility powered by natural gas. However, technology and engineering design tactics are also driving down emissions at Woodfibre LNG. This includes technology to enable compressors to restart without flaring, sophisticated cameras, leak detection, and repair surveys to detect and remedy fugitive leaks quickly.

Canada, and particularly British Columbia, due to the low-carbon gas resources in the Montney region, is uniquely positioned to take the lead on exporting responsibly-sourced, low-emission energy overseas as part of the global energy transition from heavy-emitting fuels to renewables. Woodfibre LNG will source its natural gas from Pacific Canbriam Energy, the Project’s upstream affiliate company with operations in Northeastern British Columbia. Pacific Canbriam Energy is the second gas producer in North America to achieve EO100 Standard Certification for the production of Certified Responsibly Sourced Gas (C-RSG).

Within the next four years, the Project will create 100 new operations jobs that will remain for the 40 year lifecycle of the Project – all while operating at net zero emissions from 2027. 

[1] Typical LNG projects such as in the US can be at 0.26 (Source: https://woodfibrelng.ca/emissions)

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