There will soon be a new online business networking resource for those who want to be a part of the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) industry.
The Campbell River Chamber of Commerce hosted a luncheon on Tuesday where local businesspeople came together to find out how to get in on the burgeoning LNG industry, were told to form partnerships to give themselves a shot at being a part of the projects and were given a heads up about a new tool to help them do so.
“This is a big industry with huge global supply chains,” said speaker Gordon Wilson, current LNG-Buy BC Advocate and former MLA for Powell River/Sunshine Coast. “They have huge manufacturers and global contractors, but they also understand that there is the need to use local business. In order for us to engage in that, we have to understand how to be smarter about getting that work.”
He said the recent estimates that B.C. has a 150-year supply of natural gas deposits to be tapped for export, and the interest from the government in broadening Canada’s market for the product, means there will be plenty of opportunities for businesses to get involved and benefit economically from the resource, if they know how to go about it.
“B.C. business, generally speaking, has a huge opportunity and great potential, but in large measure, we aren’t going to get that work through direct award or direct contract work with the major proponents,” he said.
“We’re more likely to benefit through the subcontracting work that comes out of each of these various projects,” meaning it’s likely that the major proponents will not be local business, but multinational corporations that B.C. companies will need to approach for work.
In order to do this, Wilson said, “you (will) need to provide a broad enough scale of work in order to put yourself into a position where you’re a desirable bidder to secure work in the industry.” In other words, individual businesses will generally need to group together to create partnerships in order to successfully bid on large-scale contracts, and that’s what the LNG-Buy BC online tool is designed to facilitate.
The online tool being developed by LNG-Buy BC, which will roll out Nov. 20, will allow businesses to register and coordinate with each other to make each company better positioned to take advantage of some of this subcontracting work, he said.
The site, according to Wilson, will not only allow businesses to promote their own capabilities, but also help them match those strengths with other businesses who have other skills or desirable benefits – such as investment capital – to create and develop these possible partnerships, as well as be a central hub of sorts where project activity, bids, awards, and progress can be tracked so these partnerships will know when and where the opportunities are for them to become involved.
It will also be a one-stop-shop for bidding on jobs related to LNG projects.
For more information on ways your business might get involved or to pre-register your business on the networking tool before the launch later this month, go online to lngbuybc.ca