Under blue tents outside of East Delta Hall, Delta business leaders and City representatives gathered to watch a live demonstration from FortisBC of liquid natural gas (LNG) in action.
The demonstration was part of a luncheon hosted by the Delta Chamber of Commerce, entitled “B.C.’s Climate Action Opportunity: The Role of LNG in the Marine Sector”, on Wednesday, Nov. 3.
A Q&A period for their energy and marine transport panelists was also part of the discussion.
Director of Low Carbon Transportation and LNG Business Growth with FortisBC Sarah Smith, President of Seaspan Marine Transportation Ian McIver and Director of ESG & Projects and Teekay Nicholas Schneider all fielded questions about LNG and the impacts it could have in and beyond Delta.
“I’m glad that we were able to present on a topic that, I think, there’s so much that many of us can learn. I think that’s a great opportunity, and we’re looking forward to trying to put together more learning opportunities for our members and for the community,” said Executive Director of the Delta Chamber of Commerce Jill McKnight.
Questions posed to the panel centred around what the benefits are of transitioning to LNG as a marine fuel, how it has been going in existing marine transportation and how FortisBC is attempting to mitigate the environmental concerns regarding their project proposals in Delta.
Some of the main points from the panelists were about how LNG has been safely used as marine fuel in other parts of the world for decades, how it can be a stepping-stone to completely renewable fuel that we don’t currently have the infrastructure for and how it could provide a big economic opportunity for the province.
They also talked about how it is a “cleaner” and “greener” fuel than petroleum-based options.
The two LNG project proposals in Delta, which include The Tilbury Jetty Limited Partnership’s proposed Marine Jetty project on the Fraser River and FortisBC’s Tilbury phase-two LNG expansion project, have sparked controversy and division among the community.
As previously reported by the Optimist, concerned environmental groups gathered in August to protest the Tilbury LNG plant expansion and fracking as a whole.
Both proposed projects are under environmental assessment, and panelist Smith from FortisBC said that, if successful, they would work within their mitigation measures.