First shipment of LNG from Canada to China launches from B.C.

Canada’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) export industry recently reached a milestone with the departure of its first shipment to China in a pilot project to determine long-term feasibility. LNG was supplied by FortisBC’s Tilbury facility in Delta, logistics and equipment were provided by True North Energy Corporation and CIMC ENRIC Holdings Limited, and the cargo was shipped from Vancouver.

“This pilot is a small, but significant step for B.C.’s LNG export industry,” said Douglas Stout, vice-president of Market Development and External Relations, FortisBC. “At FortisBC, we are working toward changing the LNG landscape with the first of what could be many shipments from our province.”

B.C.’s LNG industry has been steadily moving toward this goal and, in support of this, FortisBC has invested in expanding its Tilbury LNG storage facility and in innovative solutions to transport natural gas. True North has been exploring creative ways to bring Canadian natural gas to Asia and its market approach is key to this breakthrough. By teaming up, these made-in-B.C. solutions will provide China with more access to LNG, a clean and low-cost fossil fuel displacement for coal and diesel.

“True North Energy is pleased to work with FortisBC, a clean energy leader, and CIMC ENRIC, a global leading LNG equipment provider and active advocator of innovative LNG logistic solutions to make the first ever LNG export to Asia from Canada. LNG is a much cleaner alternative fuel than coal and diesel,” said Calvin Xu, CEO of True North Energy Corporation. “By working with FortisBC and CIMC ENRIC, we will continue to develop a strong LNG market in Canada and abroad.”

By next year, China is projected to become the world’s second largest LNG importer. The Chinese government is stepping up its efforts in combatting air pollution and LNG imports have more than tripled in the last six years.

The country is in the midst of an ambitious effort to convert millions of homes to natural gas heaters this winter and increase the industrial use of natural gas. However, with limited reserves of its own, the country is turning to producers with abundant resources, including B.C., to deliver natural gas, which is the cleanest-burning of all fossil fuels.

“Our Government is pleased to see this pilot project launch its first shipment of LNG to China,” said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “The opportunities for good jobs as we reduce carbon emissions in the transition to cleaner fuels is just getting started.”

FortisBC has been liquefying natural gas at Tilbury since 1971, when the facility opened to supplement Lower Mainland supply during the coldest winter days. More recently, thanks to FortisBC innovations, natural gas is supplied to remote communities and heavy-duty vehicle fleets. Through its world-first marine bunkering process, FortisBC can also transport LNG to fuel vessels along the West Coast. These innovations helped FortisBC develop the capability to carry out this first shipment of LNG from Canada to China.