FortisBC argues Metro staff report on Delta expansion flawed

LNG from Tilbury can reduce GHG emissions by 27 per cent compared to the petroleum-based marine fuels used today, according to FortsBC

FortisBC says LNG produced from Tilbury is nearly 30 per cent less carbon intensive than the global average. The facility is powered by renewable hydroelectricity and is designed to be one of the cleanest LNG facilities in the world | FortisBC/Contributed

FortisBC is asking the Metro Vancouver board to reject a recommendation by one of the regional district’s key committees to not endorse the LNG expansion application for Tilbury Island in Delta.

A senior project director for the FortisBC Phase 2 Expansion is going to be presenting to the full board tomorrow morning (Friday, July 29) to ask it to reject recommendations from the Climate Action Committee, which is recommending the board not support any expansion after hearing a staff report critical of the project.

A letter to the Metro board from Doug Slater, Vice-President of External and Indigenous Relations for FortisBC, responded to the committee’s recommendations to not only reject the FortisBC expansion but also the adjoining separate Tilbury Marine Jetty application, saying FortisBC has numerous concerns with the information provided in the report.

FortisBC believes the report does not provide an accurate assessment of the projects and the role the projects will play in supporting shared regional and global climate action goals, said Slater.

Their concerns, among other things, include, Metro staff inaccurately assessing emissions reductions associated with displacing conventional marine fuels, underplaying the role LNG will play in the decarbonization of the marine sector and omitting FortisBC’s work on rapidly expanding the supply of renewable gas.

“The expansion of Tilbury LNG facility puts difficult to decarbonize industries like marine shipping on a more advanced path to emissions reductions, rather than locking them into the use of conventional marine fuels while waiting for solutions that are not viable today. Opportunities also exist to use the Tilbury LNG facility and FortisBC’s supply of Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) to decarbonize the marine sector even further,” said Slater.

To address these critical gaps, FortisBC would like to provide additional contextual information that was not reflected in the staff report on how the Tilbury expansion will be a vital asset for sectors like marine shipping, he added.

FortisBC is asking the Metro board to refer the report back to the staff for further study.

Still in the application and assessment phase, the proposed storage capacity of the new FortisBC Tilbury LNG tank would be 142,400 cubic metres, while the proposed liquefaction capacity would be to 2.5 million tonnes per year.

Meanwhile, the Tilbury Marine Jetty Project, is also slowly winding its way through the application process.

The applicant behind that project is the Tilbury Limited Partnership, a partnership between affiliates of FortisBC and Seaspan.

That facility would load LNG from the FortisBC Tilbury LNG facility onto ships for both local use and overseas export.

The Metro board meeting takes place Friday morning at 9:15 a.m. and can be seen online