LNG Canada to raise roof on large storage tank

The Shell-led LNG Canada export project in Kitimat is preparing to raise the roof on the first large storage tank as construction continues to progress despite disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The giant project, worth more than $30 billion, is now in its third year of construction with more than 4,000 people working at the Kitimat site. It includes the construction of 14 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) export capacity from the first two trains, with the potential to expand to four trains in the future.

As part of the first phase, LNG Canada is also building one large 225,000-cbm storage tank at the plant site in Kitimat.

“Later this summer, we will raise a 1,600-tonne roof on our site’s large LNG tank, paving the way for inner tank work that will include three wall lifts and additional mechanical work,” LNG Canada CEO Peter Zebedee said in a project update on Wednesday.

Preparing to receive modules

Moreover, three towering pieces of equipment critical to the gas liquefaction process have in June arrived at the site in Kitimat, as part of the project’s “going vertical” stage.

These include a 345-tonne main cryogenic heat exchanger and two precooler units, which weigh 308 tonnes and 284 tonnes, respectively.

“This marked our first opportunity to receive critical infrastructure at our new material offloading facility, and to conduct our first heavy equipment transport along our new haul road to our main construction site,” Zebedee said.

“As well, we reached critical milestones at our global fabrication sites, as we prepare to receive modules required for our LNG facility,” he said.

As of May 2021, LNG Canada and its contractors and subcontractors have awarded over C$3.2 billion in contracts and procurement to business in British Columbia, according to Zebedee.

Local and First Nations-owned businesses won over C$2.6 billion of this amount, he said.

TC Energy-led Coastal GasLink said last month it would start laying a giant pipeline that would supply natural gas to the LNG Canada project in July.

Coastal GasLink is building a 667-kilometer-long pipeline worth about C$6.6 billion.

“Progress along the CGL pipeline is encouraging; however, we remain concerned that CGL’s operator and parent company, TC Energy, has proposed significant increased cost estimates to complete the pipeline, over and above what was agreed to when we took our final investment decision in late 2018,” Zebedee said.

Coastal GasLink also said it would need more time to complete the work, he said.

“We have been working hard with TC Energy to understand the reasons for the increase in cost and schedule, and we have provided recommendations on improved execution efficiency,” Zebedee said.

He added LNG Canada would continue to work with TC Energy and their partners to reach a commercial solution for “how increased costs must be addressed in their original plans and how they can improve schedule performance.”

Besides Shell, LNG Canada partners include Malaysia’s Petronas, PetroChina, Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation and South Korea’s Kogas.

LNG Canada expects the first LNG shipment from the plant in the middle of the decade.

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