B.C. shifts energy policy for LNG

The B.C. government is relaxing the electricity self-sufficiency policy that has driven expansion of independent power projects

  • Feb. 8, 2012 7:00 a.m.

The B.C. government is relaxing the electricity self-sufficiency policy that has driven expansion of independent power projects, and put the focus on new electricity supply for a major expansion of liquefied natural gas exports.

Premier Christy Clark made the announcement Friday in Burnaby. The self-sufficiency policy set in 2008 required BC Hydro to supply the province’s needs even in the lowest-water years when large hydroelectric reservoirs run low and B.C. has to import power.

The new policy requires BC Hydro to be self-sufficient only in average-water years, and will lead to the purchase of more imported power in years of low snow and rainfall.

B.C.’s announcement comes the day after the National Energy Board approved an export permit for B.C.’s second LNG facility near Kitimat. Chinese, Korean and Canadian energy companies have invested in the first two projects, and Shell has proposed a third.

LNG production requires huge refrigeration and compression plants. The B.C. government estimates that with new electricity development it can power two plants, but a gas-fired power plant will be needed to back up run-of-river or wind generation that runs intermittently.

“B.C.’s natural gas will help with the transition to a low-carbon global economy by displacing Asia’s current reliance on other carbon-intensive fuels like coal and diesel,” Clark said. “To protect our environment here, we also plan to introduce a more ambitious means of offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon capture and storage, while balancing growth.”

B.C. is joining a rush of LNG production aimed at taking advantage of high prices paid by Asian importers. A surge of shale gas development in Canada and the U.S. has pushed the price down to about $4 per gigajoule in North America, while the price in Asia has climbed above $12.

The Persian Gulf nation Qatar has been producing LNG since 1984. It is the world’s largest producer with capacity of 42 million tonnes per year, with further expansion plans.

Australia has been expanding its LNG export industry rapidly, with six projects in development. Its latest project, with investment from Japanese and French petroleum companies, would put Australia ahead of Qatar as the world’s top producer by 2017.

Other top LNG producers include Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Trinidad, Egypt, Oman and Russia.

 

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The Binche Fishing Derby at Stuart Lake is fast approaching. (Binche Fishing Derby Facebook photo)
Binche shares excitement for upcoming fishing derby

“It’s more than just fishing,” says Dave Birdi

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Local youth vaccination clinics underway

Pfizer vaccine will be used

Priya Sharma. (Submitted)
Column: Why ultimatums don’t work

By Priya Sharma It is a common misconception that people can choose… Continue reading

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctos urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Most Read