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Wanted: New gas pipeline to Elk Falls

A new pipeline to Campbell River is needed before the former Elk Falls mill site can be converted into a liquified natural gas (LNG) plant.

This week the new owners, Quicksilver Resources Canada Inc., launched a website (www.discoverylng.com) outlying its comprehensive plans for the former pulp and paper mill site, located just north of the city.

According to the website:

“The potential project will undergo a feasibility study and once complete, and upon regulatory approval, Quicksilver would construct a facility that would convert produced natural gas, primarily from British Columbia, into LNG for export to Pacific Rim markets in Asia.”

Discovery LNG is the new name for the Elk Falls site and is potentially a multi-billion dollar project. Quicksilver says Campbell River is a “highly suitable location for LNG export,” but the key will be getting the gas here because the existing pipeline isn’t large enough.

Quicksilver, a Calgary-based oil and gas exploration company, produces processed natural gas at sites in the Horn River Basin, located in northeastern B.C. The plan is to move that gas through existing pipelines to the Lower Mainland and then find a third party to build a new pipeline to Vancouver Island and Campbell River.

Quicksilver is planning to begin the regulatory process for the project before year’s end. Pending regulatory approvals and permits, construction for the first phase of the potential project is expected to take approximately four years, with the plant anticipated to be operational by 2019.

The company also said it intends to hold “significant” consultations with the public and First Nations, and would do site remediation at Elk Falls following a thorough environmental review. The potential project would also go through the environmental assessment process.

 

Quick facts:

  • Quicksilver bought the Elk Falls site for $8.6 million from Catalyst Paper in May.
  • Just a small portion of the 400-acre industrial site would be needed to build an LNG plant.
  • The site already has a deep water port.
  • As Discovery LNG moves forward with its potential reclamation and remediation, it will investigate opportunities to enhance eel grass on former booming grounds and methods to support the nearby Quinsam River hatchery.
  • An LNG plant cools natural gas to -162 degrees Celsius.
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