Has RRI started the process to obtain an LNG export license for Discovery LNG?
Yes, a prior owner submitted an application to the NEB for an LNG export license on July 28, 2014. The application is subject to review by the NEB to ensure that the quantity of liquefied natural gas to be exported is surplus to Canadian requirements. Once in receipt of an application, the review and approval process is estimated to take six to eight months, ideally ending in an export license approval. This license will permit LNG to be exported from the Discovery LNG site in Campbell River, B.C., to markets abroad.
The filing can be viewed at http://docs.neb-one.gc.ca/fetch.asp?language=E&ID=A61997.
What project components could be included in Discovery LNG?
At this early stage in Project development, specific Project components are still being determined. However, at full build out, the facility is expected to include the following main components:
-A to-be-determined number of LNG trains
-LNG holding tanks
-Natural gas reception system
– Gas pretreatment system
– A marine terminal with a trestle
-Trestle control room
– LNG carrier berths
– An off-load berth for propane and other materials
-A bunkering facility
-A materials off-loading facility
-An access road
-Pipeline and utility connections (e.g., water and sewer).
When could Discovery LNG be completed?
After a partner or partners are secured for Discovery LNG, Rockyview Resources Inc. will move forward with the environmental assessment process, which is expected to take approximately two years to complete. The construction process would follow and is expected to take approximately four years.
How could Discovery LNG be powered?
Rockyview is currently researching power options. Both existing power supplies and self-generation will be evaluated with the various LNG technology solutions. The Project would require a substantive amount of energy to cool the natural gas from gaseous state at ambient temperature into a liquid state at approximately -162°C. In addition to the liquefying process, energy is also required to operate the balance of the plant units including non-process related infrastructure (e.g., administration complex, road lighting, etc.).
When operational, how much noise will be generated by the facility?
It is expected that there will be low noise levels associated with the facility. The most frequently heard noises from an LNG terminal are those sounds associated with an LNG carrier arrival and loading of LNG (typical marine noises– tugboat engines, clanging, etc.). By law, all sounds generated at the plant must be kept within strict guidelines so as not to interfere with any nearby residences.
How will natural gas arrive at Discovery LNG?
Natural gas would be transported to the Project from northeast British Columbia via existing pipeline right-of-ways and/or physical pipeline networks connecting northeastern British Columbia to the lower mainland. A new pipeline would be required to transport the gas from the lower mainland to Campbell River. Any new pipelines associated with the Project would be separate Projects that would be constructed, owned and operated by a third party and assessed independently under the applicable regulatory regime. Any decisions about natural gas delivery would also undergo significant public consultation and First Nations engagement.
Is there enough natural gas in BC to support Discovery LNG and other LNG facilities in BC?
In the Horn River Basin, where Discovery LNG would potentially receive the majority of its natural gas from, some analysts predict as much as 150 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of unconventional gas resources. As all of Canada currently only produces 6 Tcf annually, there is easily enough to support Discovery LNG and other B.C. LNG facilities for many years.
What is the future demand for natural gas?
Future natural gas demand is very high. Asian countries, including India, Japan, Korea and China, as well as many other countries, rely on imported natural gas as a major part of their energy matrix, and currently do not import LNG from Canada. For example, Japan imports 97% of its natural gas needs – all as LNG. In addition, China is becoming increasingly concerned with the impact of its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) output as well as severe pollution in its major cities and is seeking cleaner burning alternatives to coal, such as LNG. This is forecast to increase global demand for LNG in the future.
What is the difference between LNG and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas)?
Compressed Natural Gas or CNG is stored at a high pressure at atmospheric temperature in containers that look similar to propane tanks.
What happens if a LNG storage tank fails?
There is a very low probability of a major release of LNG during normal industry operations due to the safety systems that are in place. In the case of an accidental release, the project will be designed with emergency fire detection and protection, and the danger to the public would be reduced or eliminated by the separation distances of the facility design. LNG operations are industrial activities, but safety and security designs and protocols help to minimize even the most uncommon kinds of industrial and occupational incidents that might be expected. Furthermore, every employee will receive comprehensive training on safety and be extensively tested before they are permitted to work on the Discovery LNG site.
What would happen if all safeguards failed after a leak?
Should a tank ever fail and a leak result, fire is possible, but only if there is both the right concentration of LNG vapour in the air and a source of ignition. According to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), “LNG is not explosive. Although a large amount of energy is stored in LNG, it cannot be released rapidly enough to cause the overpressures associated with an explosion.” FERC adds, “LNG vapours (methane) mixed with air are not explosive in an unconfined environment.”
Can Duncan Bay accommodate LNG carriers?
At present, about 400 commercial vessels transit through Discovery Passage each year, passing by the anticipated Discovery LNG site in Duncan Bay. A significant number of these transits are by cruise ships of a comparable size to the LNG Carriers. These ships pass through Discovery Passage and transit by the potential Discovery LNG site in Duncan Bay. All ships transiting Discovery Passage do so without the tug escort that an LNG ship would have. Tugs would assist in providing close escort and docking of the LNG vessels as determined by the standards applied by the risk assessment. In the past, commercial vessels docking in Duncan Bay used tugs for docking assist; this illustrates the appropriate utilization of this water lot under its new iteration as a deep-sea terminal.
What potential effect could carriers have on the Campbell River area?
Safety and security zones will be put in effect when LNG vessels transit and dock in a harbor or inland waterway. The intent of the safety and security zones is to protect the LNG carriers from collisions or sabotage. The establishment of Project-related safety zones would temporarily impact the access and use patterns of the existing waterway. Improvements to navigational aids would be required, and are typically funded by the Proponent. A security zone is established to regulate an area around an LNG ship while it is at port and loading the LNG cargo. In most ports, the LNG carriers transit through port areas in a moving “safety zone” until they berth and then a fixed safety zone around them is established. This fixed zone exists while they load, for about 24 hours, until they transit back out again. The zone is a way to keep other vessels a safe distance from the LNG carrier in order to prevent accidental collisions. The concept of a safety zone is not unique to shipping. Similarly, the aviation industry applies safety zones to aircraft. Transport Canada will conduct a Threat Risk Assessment allowing the Marine Facility to develop an Approved Security Plan, which determines the optimal configuration and management of safety zones, and security processes and infrastructure. The size of the safety zone for a specific port is determined by assessing the potential risks and hazards in that port and its approaches. A tug escort is used to manage the safety zone around a vessel.
What is the route LNG carriers will take to reach Discovery LNG?
These vessels would make landfall on the west coast of Vancouver Island at the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and enter the joint Canada/US vessel management scheme. This bi-national operation manages both the inbound and outbound movement of vessels requiring pilotage.
Upon transiting Juan de Fuca the vessel would proceed to a designated pilot boarding station off Victoria B.C. at Brotchie Ledge where a certified British Columbia Coastal Pilot would board the vessel under the Pacific Pilotage Authority (PPA) supervision. The Pilot/Master would provide local knowledge of the routing, weather, tidal and other pertinent information to the carriers master and bridge team.
The vessel would continue through the gulf islands via Boundary Pass to the Nanaimo Port Authority for anchorage, which would provide the vessel time to wait in safety for a daylight/slack water window to open at Duncan Bay to minimize the effect of potential tidal conditions.
Upon departure from Nanaimo the vessel would be escorted by the NPA Patrol Division, carrying a Transport Canada Designated Enforcement officer to ensure compliance with the exclusion zone. Cape Mudge escort tugs would meet and tether to the vessel to provide assistance for the safe transit of Discovery Passage to Discovery LNG.
What is the process for review and approval of a LNG Terminal?
A thorough review of potential Project impacts is conducted through environmental assessments and under a review process known as Termpol (Terminal Pollution). This is an interdepartmental committee charged with reviewing the potential marine pollution issues. Once risks are identified it will provide the regulators with a precise and reliable measurement of the navigational risks associated with the location and operation of marine terminals for large-scale tanker operations. The participating agencies include but are not limited to the Departments of the Environment, Fisheries and Oceans, Transport, and Public Works. Special Operating Agencies may include the Coast Guard as well as elements of the marine industry with a vested interest in the Project.
What agency provides oversight of LNG carriers?
Transport Canada (T/C) is responsible for key components of the regulatory regime governing shipping. T/C is tasked with ensuring the safety, and security of marine operations at LNG terminals and of tankers in coastal waters. T/C regulates the design, construction, manning, and operation of LNG vessels and the duties of LNG carriers’ officers and crews. This is achieved through Port State Control Inspections, Termpol process of review and approval, and random inspections. T/C legislation, both Acts and Regulations, are derived from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) standards and codes for the construction and operation of carriers. Additionally, they provide direction and oversight to the Pilotage and Port Authorities. The IMO is an international body devoted to regulating international maritime traffic. This organization has become well established over the past 50 years it has been in operation and is involved in ensuring the safe operation of LNG worldwide.
Are high tides, currents, whirlpools, wind, and fog a concern?
Currents are a factor at this location; however, the Marine Works would be sited, designed and built to address this concern. The use of sufficient berthing tugs of the appropriate configuration and horse power/bollard pull (as determined by the Pacific Pilotage Authority) would ensure safe arrivals and departures for all vessels at this terminal. Moreover, initially arrivals and departures would be limited to daylight slack water. Wind and fog conditions are not a major issue at the potential marine works. The enhancement of shipboard navigational devices, in conjunction with the improved International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) standards has reduced the frequency of ship groundings.
Will fishery and recreational activities be allowed near the LNG carrier when it is in transit?
Some water-borne activities are expected to be restricted during carrier transit and offloading. Carrier transit to the pier is expected to take less than 20 hours, and loading about 24 hours.