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    Canada’s Woodfibre LNG sets net zero commitment


BC project will be net zero during construction, and when operations begin in 2027. [Image credit: Woodfibre LNG]

by: Dale Lunan

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Canada’s Woodfibre LNG sets net zero commitment

Woodfibre LNG, a 2.1mn metric tons/year project near Squamish, north of Vancouver, said March 23 it had developed a “tangible plan” to be net zero by the time it makes its first exports in 2027, 23 years ahead of Canada’s federal commitment to achieve net zero by 2050.

Its Roadmap to Net Zero will build on the already low emissions profile of the project, which will use electric compressors in the liquefaction process, and incorporate offsets drawn from two nearby nature based offset projects.


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“This roadmap will see Woodfibre LNG be the first LNG export facility in the world to achieve net zero, and includes commitments to be net zero both through the construction stage of the project and during operations,” Woodfibre LNG said. Construction will begin in September, with first cargoes expected in 2027.

The roadmap aligns with the BC government’s recently-released Energy Action Frameworkwhich requires that proposed LNG facilities in or entering the environmental assessment process must develop and submit a credible plan to be net zero by 2030.

Although Woodfibre, which has already been approved by both the federal and provincial governments and the Squamish Nation, on whose traditional territories it will be sited, isn’t technically required to meet those conditions, CEO Christine Kennedy said in a technical briefing the plan has been discussed extensively with federal and provincial regulators over the last year.

“We have spoken extensively with the provincial ministry of environment and the climate action secretariat,” she said. “Both federally and provincially we have briefed all relevant ministries through the process.”

Woodfibre LNG is able to achieve net zero in part because of early-stage decisions which aligned with the environmental assessment process by the Squamish Nation and which resulted in the Nation’s own environmental assessment approval of the project in 2015. Among those was the commitment to use e-drive compressors, which will reduce emissions by about 230,470 metric tons of CO2-equivalent (mtCO2e)/year and yield a carbon intensity for e-drive of just 0.0085 mt ofCO2e/mtLNG compared to 0.118 mt/CO2e/mtLNG for natural gas turbines.

Overall, Woodfibre LNG will result in emissions estimated at 83,374 mtCO2e/year, yielding a carbon intensity of just 0.04 mtCO2e/mtLNG, well below the provincial benchmark of 0.16 mtCO2e/mtLNG.

The roadmap commits to implementing greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction technologies and outlines incremental opportunities to achieve even greater reductions as technologies mature and become more economical.

Woodfibre LNG will also offset emissions during operations with carbon credits secured from BigCoast Forest Climate Initiative, which has partnerships with more than 25 First Nations, and during construction with carbon credits secured from Cheakamus Community Forest near Whistler, in which Squamish Nation and Lil’Wat Nation are partners.

The entire roadmap strategy, including the offsets, has been independently verified by Brightspot Climate, a Canadian climate engineering firm. It will be updated annually to integrate efficiency improvements, new technologies, and evolving industry practices to reflect the evolving net zero industrial and regulatory landscape, Woodfibre LNG said.

“Woodfibre LNG’s announcement comes at a time when global trading partners, such as Japan, are calling on the government of Canada to provide a reliable, sustainable source of LNG to support global energy demands,” said Ratnesh Bedi, president of Pacific Energy, which owns 70% of Woodfibre LNG. “The Woodfibre LNG project has a critical role to play in demonstrating that British Columbia and its diversified portfolio of energy offerings can contribute to a low carbon future, both at home and abroad.”