Texada LNG proposal
A Calgary company wants to build a liquefied natural gas terminal and a gas-fired power plant on Texada Island. The proposal would bring large tankers through Georgia Strait every 10 days.
WestPac and an unnamed partner want to regasify Asian liquified natural gas (LNG) to fuel the power plant, and feed additional gas into the existing pipeline to supply Vancouver Island, Powell River and the lower mainland. However, WestPac has admitted that two thirds of the LNG they ship to BC will be sold on the market (most likely to the U.S.).
The proposal is for a 600-megawatt plant, expanding to 1,200 megawatts, to be situated at the northern end of Texada. The proposal would also require a re-gassification plant (to bring the LNG to air temperature and reduce the energy content of the gas to pipeline specifications) along with massive storage tanks. A huge, high-voltage transmission line would run down most of the length of the island.
WestPac has said they aim to have the operation underway by 2013.
Georgia Strait Alliance and about a dozen other groups have formed the new LNG Alliance. Our mandate is to stop the Texada LNG terminal from being built. All of the groups strongly oppose any new coastal oil and gas infrastructure. As well, we would like the Provincial Government to make a serious commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG's) by investing heavily in alternative clean, sustainable energy. The group supports a tanker moratorium, which would also reduce GHG's and the chance of a catastrophic oil spill or LNG explosion.
A local citizens group, Texada Action Now, has estimated the greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the plant:
- from 1.2 to 1.3 million tonnes per year for a 600-megawatt plant
- 2 million tonnes per year for a 1,200-megawatt plant.
This would be the equivalent of approximately:
- 400,000 cars, or
- 4.35 times more than the combined emissions of the four biggest pulp mills around Georgia Strait
All over North America, coastal LNG power plants have been proposed and rejected due to concerns over safety, security and environmental damage. A similar plant proposed in 2002 for Duke Point, near Nanaimo, met strong local opposition and did not go forward.
Texada Island is home to 1200 residents.
The proposal must still win regulatory approval, but in the mean time, opposition to the project grows. In the last few months, 6 regional districts in the Georgia Strait region and the Islands Trust have voted in favour of a ban on LNG tankers in Georgia, Malaspina and Haro Straits, and Boundary Pass. See below for more information.
- Sunshine Coast Regional District calls for ban - September 10, 2008
- Cowichan Valley Regional District supports ban - September 10, 2008
- Regional District of Nanaimo supports resolution banning LNG tankers - August 27, 2008
- Capital Regional District supports ban on LNG tankers - August 15, 2008
- Comox Valley Regional District joins support for ban on LNG tankers - August 15, 2008
- Islands Trust Council supports Powell River resolutions - June 13, 2008
- Powell River Regional District's resolutions oppose LNG proposal - May 22, 2008
- WestPac news release, July 31, 2007
- Texada LNG
- Texada Action Now
- LNG Watch (California)