Canada’s Woodfibre LNG pushes back construction start

Woodfibre LNG plant site
Courtesy of Woodfibre LNG

The developers behind the Woodfibre liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project on Canada’s West Coast are pushing back the start of construction.

Woodfibre LNG, owned by Pacific Oil & Gas, planned to start construction on a 2.1 million metric tonnes per annum LNG terminal and associated facilities this summer.

However, the project has been postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and as a preferred U.S. construction contractor for the marine part of the project has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

“Like many other Canadian companies, we are attempting to adjust timelines as the effects of COVID-19 unfold,” Woodfbre LNG said in a statement.

“COVID-19 has had implications for our vendor’s manufacturing facilities and fabrication yards in China, delaying the manufacturing of specialized equipment and fabrication of modules related to the construction of our project,” Woodfbre LNG said.

The company is also applying to the British Colombia Environmental Assessment Office for a five-year extension to its environmental certificate, which expires in October.

“While an extension would allow us to start construction any time before October 2025, our aim will be to get shovels in the ground by the end of 2021,” it said.

The Woodfibre LNG project tipped to be worth more than $1.5 billion has received approval from Canada’s National Energy Board to export LNG over a period of 40 years.

The project has also received environmental approvals from the provincial and federal governments as well as the local First Nation.

Woddfibre LNG is not the only LNG project in British Columbia affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, the giant Shell-led LNG Canada project said it would reduce the size of its construction workforce at Kitimat by half to help deal with COVID-19.

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