Sakhalin LNG facility


Liquified 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. It’s a process that uses significant amounts of water, has been shown to induce earthquakes and generates a lot of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition turning natural gas into a liquid for export requires running large compression units 24/7. Each of the large LNG plants proposed for B.C.’s coast would need the equivalent of an entire Site C dam (1,100 megawatts of capacity) to power it by electricity. However, many of these plants will run their compressor units on natural gas, creating additional greenhouse gas emissions in the process. One LNG project proposed for the B.C. coast — the Pacific NorthWest LNG plant — would have become the single largest emitter of greenhouse gases in Canada if built.

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