Article by Peter van der Velden. See bottom for info about July 30.
Building the perfect storm: Are our governments once again set to fail us?
- Two separate proposals: -Expansion of the LNG operations and the construction of the jetty
- Current Assessment Acts and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
- Canada’s commitment to the Paris Agreement
- Fortis plans to build a shipping terminal (jetty) directly across from the Richmond Jet Fuel terminal
- Location and international safety standards
- Bunkering and the viability of export
- Costs: Government subsidies to the LNG industry
- The environment: City of Richmond council opposes proposal
- The application to BCUC to charge ratepayers for $780 million tank enlargement costs
- Some conclusions
- How do we proceed
1. Two separate proposals: Expansion of the LNG operations and construction of the jetty
FortisBC has two separate proposals registered under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act; expansion of the LNG terminal on the Fraser River and construction of an LNG shipping terminal (called a jetty). Both proposals will put the communities of Richmond and Delta in harm’s way.
A Fortis LNG terminal has been in existence at Tilbury Island since 1971. There has been some recent expansion and Fortis is once again applying to increase their operation.
The first proposal is to:
– Increase production to 2.5 million tonnes of LNG annually
These increases are massive. In this location the proposals are a perfect storm waiting to happen. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBAgvXPw1aI)
Fortis wants to increase the production of LNG for the purposes of Export and Bunkering. This includes the logistics of loading fuel as well as distributing it to bunker tanks and exporting the product. Hence the need for the second proposal to:
– Build a jetty to load tankers with LNG for export
An integral part of the expansion proposal is the construction of a shipping terminal -called a jetty- for loading LNG ships for export. Though very much related, the LNG Jetty Project and the expansion of the FortisBC Tilbury LNG Plant are being reviewed as independent projects.
There are so many issues with these proposals, it is hard to know where to start. At the forefront are issues of health and safety, and environment.
(a) Health and Safety
The health and safety risks involved in the handling and storage of LNG are well documented. The Pembina institute states that as much as 30% of the production losses of LNG happen at the terminal. The damage caused to the environment by the lost gas is almost as damaging as that of burning the fuel.
The dangers in handling, storing and loading LNG onto ships are extremely high in this location. The location of the plant does not meet international safety guidelines. Worse yet, the jetty is located directly across the Fraser from the jet fuel storage facility in Richmond. The LNG freighters will have to pass close to the populated areas of Delta and Richmond as well as the Tsawwassen First Nation. Turning these giant vessels once filled will have them pass dangerously close to the jet fuel tanks located on the Richmond side of the Fraser. This channel is considered too narrow and unsafe by LNG industry group SIGTTO (The Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators). This channel will not allow these ships to stay clear of populated areas nor of other marine traffic.Continue reading