Port Alberni LNG project takes major step forward

Calling it a major milestone, the developer of a floating liquefied natural gas export facility proposed for Vancouver Island said it has a deal with a Korean shipbuilder for the design of two large at-shore hulls.

Steelhead LNG and partner Huu-ay-aht First Nations said the agreement was signed at the Gastech Conference in Barcelona with Hyundai Heavy Industries to engineer and design the equipment for the Kwispaa LNG Project.

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The LNG export project, which features floating production and storage units, is proposed to be built at Sarita Bay off land owned by the Huu-ay-aht First Nation, with a final investment decision scheduled for 2020 and the first 12-million-tonnes-per-year phase to be operational in 2024.

Three companies have been invited to bid to engineer and construct the project’s topsides, marine facilities, pre-treatment and onshore plant facilities.

The design work under both contracts is expected to start next year.

The hulls are expected to cost about $500 million US to build. Each is to be 340 metres long and 60 metres wide and feature five individual tanks that provide 280,000 cubic metres of LNG storage.

The Huu-ay-aht First Nation, a community of 750 based near Port Alberni, will have an equity stake in the project, and as co-manager, the Huu-ay-aht will have a seat on the oversight board and an opportunity to compete for contracts related to the project.

Steelhead LNG has agreed to invest in watershed restoration, including salmon enhancement projects, as conditions of the agreement.

Steelhead’s plan to build another floating LNG plant on Vancouver Island was scrapped late last year.

The deal with the Malahat Nation would have seen a liquefied natural gas project in the Saanich Inlet on the former site of the Bamberton development.

The Malahat-Steelhead plans called for a production and export facility at a 525-hectare site owned by the Malahat Nation, a former cement quarry with five kilometres of waterfront on the Saanich Inlet.

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