Canada’s Woodfibre LNG postpones construction start

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

Woodfibre planned to start building the 2.1 mtpa LNG terminal and associated facilities this summer.

However, the company owned by Pacific Oil & Gas decided to delay the construction start to 2021.

The main reason behind the decision is the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected the entire global industry.

In addition, a preferred U.S. construction contractor for the project’s marine part 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,” it said.

The company is also applying to the British Colombia Environmental Assessment Office for a five-year extension to its environmental certificate. Its current certificate 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 is worth more than $1.5 billion.

The project 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.

The Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t only affected Woddfibre LNG in British Columbia.

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 effects.

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