Fortis kicks off British Columbia review process for gas pipeline project

The British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office on Jan. 12 initiated its 180-day review process for a Jan. 9 application on an environmental certificate on a major gas pipeline project of FortisBC Energy Inc. (FEI).

The original proponent of the project, FortisBC Energy (Vancouver Island) Inc. (FEVI), has amalgamated with two sister natural gas utility companies, FEI and FortisBC Energy (Whistler) Inc. (FEW).The amalgamated entity is known as FEI, and it continues to do business as FortisBC. The three amalgamating utilities (FEVI, FEI and FEW) were each indirect, wholly owned subsidiaries of Fortis Inc., the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada. They provided natural gas service to Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast (FEVI), the BC Mainland (FEI) and Whistler (FEW). The amalgamated FEI will remain an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Fortis Inc.

FortisBC currently owns and operates a pipeline that commences in Coquitlam (Eagle Mountain), runs northwest to Squamish, across the Sunshine Coast, and across Texada Island to Powell River and Vancouver Island. It ultimately terminates in Victoria. The pipeline serves customers on the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island. FortisBC is proposing to construct and operate an approximately 47-kilometer long, 24-inch in diameter natural gas pipeline that will generally parallel (i.e., loop) a portion of its existing pipeline from the area north of the Coquitlam Watershed in Metro Vancouver to Woodfibre, southwest of Squamish, BC. The proposed project also includes the installation of additional compression at existing compressor stations located at Eagle Mountain in Coquitlam and Port Mellon north of Gibsons, as well as a new compressor station located in Squamish.

The purpose of the project is to provide natural gas transportation service to a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility being proposed by Woodfibre LNG Ltd., located southwest of Squamish. The expanded system will meet therequirements of the new LNG facility and enable FortisBC to continue to provide reliable service to other existing and future customers.

The Environmental Assessment Office on Dec. 29 formally accepted for review an application from Woodfibre LNG Ltd. for an environmental certificate on a the LNG export project. Woodfibre LNG proposes to construct and operate this facility on the previous Woodfibre Pulp and Paper Mill site located approximately 7 kilometers west-southwest of the urban center of Squamish. The facility would produce up to 2.1 million tonnes per year of LNG. Power for the facility would be produced off-site and wheeled to the project. Woodfibre is a unit of energy resources development company Pacific Oil & Gas.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.