The Quest For The “Cleanest LNG In The World” Infographic
Can a gas company reliably and affordably power a large liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant with regionally sourced renewable energy on the North Coast of British Columbia?
Last week, the province’s Minister of Natural Gas Development dismissed the idea outright: “The cost to deliver the power [to a large LNG plant] would be so expensive that it would be ridiculous to make the investment,” he told The Globe and Mail.
We were surprised to hear the minister’s remarks, as they contradict our research.
In recent weeks, we commissioned a feasibility study from Navius Research, a consulting company that works with numerous provincial governments—including the Government of British Columbia—the federal government, utilities such as B.C. Hydro, and others. We also reached out to Steve Davis & Associates—a firm providing British Columbia power developers with commercial, financial and strategic market advice.
We asked: Could an LNG proponent reliably and affordably meet its energy needs with renewable energy? To answer, Navius developed a scenario to meet the following five objectives:
- Schedule: The renewables cannot threaten an LNG project’s schedule.
- Reliability: The renewables must provide energy as reliably as a gas-powered plants.
- Affordability: The costs of delivering the renewable energy must be within range of existing estimates.
- Pollution: From a carbon-pollution perspective, the LNG facility must be “the cleanest in the world.”
- Employment: The LNG facility must provide legacy infrastructure and more permanent, local jobs to the community.
We summarize their findings in the embedded infographic. For those who like charts, the full research is in the slide deck below, titled “Proposed British Columbia LNG Facilities and Renewable Power – Feasibility Assessment.” We have also prepared an executive summary version.
In summary: Any LNG facility on the North Coast could primarily power its production facilities with renewable energy and do so reliably, affordably and on schedule—using established commercial technologies. Further, doing so reduces that plant’s carbon pollution by 45 percent, and increases local permanent jobs by 40 percent.
As we outlined in our recent report, More Jobs, Less Pollution: “The core technology underpinning electric drives is neither new nor sophisticated. They are readily available from established manufacturers, such as Siemens, and are, at this moment, in reliable operation at Statoil’s Snøvit LNG plant, in Norway.” Further, the 13-million tonne FreeportLNG plant—under construction in Texas—is being built with electric drives.
In June 2012, the Minister of Natural Gas Development said “We’re trying to stay away as much as possible from having to use gas for power… we should .. reduce gas generation by using it to firm renewables.”
This week, he is welcoming 1,200 delegates from around the world at the province’s second-annual International LNG in B.C. conference. The event seeks to strengthen international partnerships to build out British Columbia’s proposed LNG industry.
We developed this research and graphic to ensure attendees have access to accurate and complete information to better inform their partnership and investment decisions.