Skip to content

FortisBC expanding Tilbury LNG facility

$400 million expansion to provide transportation customers cleaner alternative to diesel
FortisBC’s proposed expansion of its Tilbury LNG facility would include a second massive storage tank.

The provincial government has paved the way for a huge FortisBC liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant expansion in Delta.

The province announced last week it's supporting FortisBC's proposed $400 million expansion of its Tilbury LNG facility by waiving the standard requirement for a review by the B.C. Utilities Commission as well as lowering a gas dispensing fee that had been recommended by the commission.

The expansion is primarily aimed at the growing interest by the transportation sector to use LNG, so the province will also provide increased incentives to convert.

The moves position FortisBC to provide LNG to transportation customers as a cleaner alternative to diesel, according to the government, adding the facility is expected to be providing LNG fuel by mid-2016.

"Government wanted to get out of the way and allow the transportation fuel component of the LNG industry develop quickly," said Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett. "This $400-million investment in FortisBC's Tilbury LNG Facility will build B.C.'s marketplace for the world's cleanest fuel, LNG, and create over 300 personyears of employment in the Lower Mainland."

Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman said B.C. has a vast supply of natural gas to meet global demands and local markets.

John Walker, president and CEO of FortisBC, said the expansion would result in increased LNG supply, creating opportunities for industrial users and remote communities.

The plan still requires FortisBC board approval and additional regulatory and environmental permits and approvals, including the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission.

In operation since 1971, the LNG plant at Tilbury cools natural gas into a liquid state for storage. It's then converted back into gas vapour and delivered by pipeline during periods of high demand. It's also delivered by tanker truck to customers.

The current storage tank at Tilbury can hold 0.6 billion standard cubic feet. The expansion includes another storage tank that can hold up to one billion standard cubic feet.

The proposal already has zoning approval from Delta.

FortisBC says its plant has a variety of special features designed for the safe handling of liquefied natural gas.