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Could Canada's LNG industry be about to take off?

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If reports in the press are to be believed Canada’s LNG industry could be about to take off, thanks to a flurry of activity in the remote town of Kitimat, British Colombia, location of the nation’s largest infrastructure project- a C$40 billion liquefied natural gas terminal that would act as a hub for energy exports to Asia.
Visualisation of the LNG Canada facility.
(Visualisation of the LNG Canada facility. Image via LNG Canada).

Led by a consortium of four global energy companies- Shell, PetroChina, KOGAS, and Mitsubishi Corporation, the project was conceived in 2011 and is now well advanced, having received key regulatory approvals and completed key site preparation activities to ensure the project is in the best place possible for a Final Investment Decision (FID).

With the oil price crash in 2014/15, the project’s viability was brought into question, and the partners decided to put it on hold until global market conditions improve. With the report of increased activity in and around Kitimat this week, it seems that the project is now closer than ever to going ahead. 

Speaking to Bloomberg, Phil Germuth, mayor of Kitimat, said: “I would put money on it- - it’s going ahead.” Indeed, the website reports that ‘the action is unmistakable in Kitimat, British Colombia, the Pacific coast city hugging a deep inlet that would be the closest launch point on the continent for LNG cargoes to Asia. The lights are on, shades are open and SUVs parked outside a 49-unit apartment complex built to house Shell executives, which sat mostly darkened for the last two years. Local workers have left jobs at a Rio Tinto Plc smelter nearby to join contractors ramping up for the LNG project.”

Indeed, it seems unmistakable that something big is about to happen for Canada’s technical and engineering labour market.
As many as 350 LNG ships could visit the LNG Canada terminal each year.
(Visualisation of the LNG Canada facility. Image via LNG Canada).

LNG Canada

The project has been given the name LNG Canada and is of a truly impressive scale. Once up-and-running the facility is expected to ship as much as 28 million tons of LNG a year, which is the equivalent of about 10 percent of global LNG supply in 2017. At full project build-out (the completion of four LNG processing units, or ‘trains’), 350 LNG ships are expected to visit the terminal every year.

Aside from the sheer volume of LNG that will be exported from the terminal, the project also involves an unprecedented level of investment. Writing on LinkedIn, CEO of LNG Canada, Andy Calitz, elaborates:

“Today, Canada’s top 100 infrastructure projects together account for $199 billion. The two largest of these, the Bruce Power and Darlington nuclear refurbishment projects in Ontario, were valued at $13 billion and $12.8 billion respectively.”

“LNG Canada’s estimate for construction of the project along the full value chain- upstream gas development, the CGL pipline, the two train LNG plant, the port in Kitimat, and LNG ships is closer to $40 billion- placing us in a mega-project category of one.”

Massive demand from Asia means that the LNG Canada project can expect a nearly unceasing supply of customers and a long life-span. Project officials have hinted that the terminal could be in operation for at least the next 40 to 50 years. 
The LNG Canada project is expected to create as many as 7,000 jobs during its construction phase.
(Visualisation of the aerial view of the LNG Canada facility. Image via LNG Canada).

Powering up job opportunities in British Colombia

Given the sheer scale, and scope, of the project there will be employment opportunities for skilled tradespeople, apprentices and technical and engineering professionals alike. Once LNG Canada receives a Final Investment Decision (FID), and the chances are that it will, there will be a requirement for an estimated 4,500 to 7,500 people during the construction phase of the project. Once completed, LNG Canada estimates that they will require around 300 to 450 people on a permanent basis to maintain operations at the facility.

Secure the staff you need for your project with Fircroft Canada

As the story above outlines, it’s an exciting time for Canada’s technical and engineering industries. With the global recovery of commodity prices well underway, and new projects on the horizon there’s never been a better time to speak to Fircroft and find out how our recruitment and workforce solutions can save you money, improve your time to hire, and open up new efficiencies within your HR supply chain. Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation.
Tags: Oil & Gas
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