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FortisBC to ship LNG to China in ISO containers

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Image: True North Energy

Canadian natural gas utility FortisBC has entered into its first term supply agreement to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) for Top Speed Energy Corp. to export to China.

The relatively small volumes of LNG involved won’t be shipped by LNG ship, but in containers.

The two-year agreement with FortisBC will see 53,000 tonnes of LNG a year or about 60 ISO containers (standard-sized shipping containers) a week shipped from Tilbury, British Columbia, to China by the summer of 2021. The volume of LNG to be exported is equivalent to the volume necessary to heat more than 30,000 average B.C. households for a year.

“This is the first agreement of its kind that will see Canadian LNG shipped regularly to China,” said FortisBC vice-president of market development and external relations, Douglas Stout. “There is strong demand for Canadian LNG in China and this is an exciting time to be working in the industry here in B.C.”

In 2017, FortisBC became the first company in Canada to supply LNG for export to China. That shipment was arranged by True North Energy Corp., a new Vancouver company, whose co-founder and CEO, Calvin Xu, says that moving LNG by intermodal container allows more flexibility than shipping by tanker, since the containers can be sent to virtually any port.

“By using [intermodal] containers, we can actually ship LNG directly from the LNG plant here all the way to the end-users,” Xu said. “What it does is create a lot of flexibility in meeting urgent demand, especially during wintertime … You bet you can make some money selling LNG this way to China.”

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