Port Edward holds public hearing for proposed small-scale LNG project

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The District of Port Edward held a public hearing last night to discuss a rezoning application from Port Edward LNG, who hope to build a small-scale LNG facility on a piece of land they acquired.

The proposed project would take natural gas out of the existing Pacific Northwest Gas (PNG) pipeline and turn it into a liquefied product, which would then be sold to markets in Asia and remote communities in Canada who rely on diesel and fuel oils.

Port Edward LNG President Chris Hilliard said this approach can help reduce carbon emissions. 

"Greenhouse gases are present – there's no question this is still a carbon fuel. But it is the best of the bunch, and much better in terms of its carbon emissions as particulate emissions than diesel and certainly much better than coal."

Hilliard explained that one of the highlights of the project is its small size – it's approximately one per cent the size of the LNG Canada project in Kitimat. He explained that the project will be much easier to build as a result.

"We're a three year project from conception to execution to operation. So that's a meaningful advantage, and that is because it is small, it's manageable. It's easier to understand anything that we do from an environmental perspective, from a safety perspective, from a societal impact perspective."

The only member of the public who spoke at the hearing was Kevin Stunder, who expressed interest in the project. 

"It looks like a great project. It's small, it's doable, it doesn't have the ten-year headaches that it takes to get a giant project."

Another supportive voice was Port Edward councillor James Brown. He said it could help the district's economy following PNG's cancellation of a proposed large-scale LNG plant there in 2017.

"We all learned from our other LNG [proposal], remember that? We got our hopes up and it didn't turn out so well. But we always said Port Edward will survive, and we always did. We got through the pulp mill crisis, but we still need jobs and we still need some kind of economic driver."

A final vote on the rezoning will take place at Port Edward district council sometime this month.