Sakhalin LNG facility

LNG

Liquefied natural gas, or LNG, is natural gas that has been cooled to below 160 degrees Celsius, compressed and turned into a liquid for transport. In British Columbia, where there is abundant natural gas, the provincial government is seeking investment by companies to develop an LNG export industry to feed a growing Asian market.

The prospect of developing an LNG industry in B.C. has been controversial because natural gas in the province is developed via hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Fracking uses significant amounts of water, often mixed with chemicals, and has been shown to induce earthquakes. Some First Nations have voiced concerns about further scaling up fracking in their territories.

Developing an LNG industry presents major challenges to meeting B.C.’s climate targets. In addition to emissions from extracting natural gas, cooling gas into a liquid for export requires running large compression units 24/7. Most plants plan to fuel their compressor units with natural gas, creating additional greenhouse gas emissions in the process.

The LNG Canada project, given the green light by investors in October 2018, will produce 9.6 megatonnes of carbon per year by 2050, according to the Pembina Institute. By 2050, B.C.’s legislated target for total carbon pollution is 13 megatonnes a year.

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