Woodfibre Liquefied Natural Gas and FortisBC/Eagle Mountain Pipeline Projects

Overview

WLNG Project Overview  

Woodfibre LNG Limited proposes to construct and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility on the previous Woodfibre Pulp and Paper Mill site located approximately 7 km west-southwest of Squamish, on the northwestern shoreline of Howe Sound.  

The WLNG project is expected to operate for approximately 25 years and includes the development of a natural gas liquefaction facility and an LNG transfer facility to enable the export of the LNG product to global markets via marine vessels. The facility would have a storage capacity of 250,000 cubic metres and a production capacity of 2.1 million tonnes per year of liquefied natural gas. 

EGP Project Overview 

To supply the proposed WLNG facility with liquified natural gas, Fortis BC Energy Vancouver Island Inc. is proposing to construct and operate an approximately 47 km long 24-inch diameter natural gas pipeline from the area north of the Coquitlam Watershed in the Greater Vancouver Regional District (Metro Vancouver) to the Woodfibre LNG facility, southwest of Squamish; additional compression at existing compressor stations at Eagle Mountain in Coquitlam; a new compressor station in Squamish; and metering facilities at the receipt and delivery points.

Recent Updates

  • March 26, 2024 - Staff presented an information report on WLNG’s TUP applications for a workforce floatel. Public Hearing was set for April 23, 2024.

  • March 19, 2024 - Council received the WLNG Community Services and Infrastructure Management Plan Updates

  • March 5, 2024 - Staff presented Woodfibre LNG and FortisBC project updates

  • January 24, 2024 – The District of Squamish has issued a Noise Exemption Permit to work 24-hours per day with conditions to FortisBC’s prime contractor, Frontier-Kemper Michels (FKM), for the Eagle Mountain - Woodfibre Gas Pipeline (EGP) Project tunneling work. The exemption was requested by FKM to allow the tunnel boring machines to operate continuously to maintain safety through construction. The exemption permit conditions require implementation of various noise mitigation measures to minimize disturbance and inconvenience to neighbouring residents, and provision of a resident complaint process.

View the most recent quarterly report: December 19, 2023 Staff update to Council

View District Q&As about the noise exemption permit

  • January 9, 2024 – Staff presented an overview and staff’s comments on Woodfibre LNG’s Construction Marine Transportation Management and Monitoring Plan

  • December 19, 2023 – Staff presented Woodfibre LNG and FortisBC project updates
  • December 4, 2023 – The Environmental Assessment Office has approved FortisBC’s Temporary Workforce Accommodation Amendment application to increase the size of the accommodation from two hectares to seven.

Two new conditions have been added to the Application:

Condition 31 – Requires FortisBC to develop and implement a gender and cultural safety plan to address the increased risk of adverse effects on women, including Indigenous women and girls

Condition 32 – Requires FortisBC to compel Project workers to reside at the Workforce Accommodation while working on the Project. The Holder may relieve a worker of the requirement based on: the location of the worker’s residence, family, Indigenous or cultural considerations, or reasons acceptable to the EAO. FortisBC must maintain a record of these exemptions, accompanied by a rationale.

View the Amendment Report and Certificate

  • November 7, 2023 – Council authorized Development Permit No. DP000599 Woodfibre LNG for the Woodfibre Site (DPA 10)

  • November 30, 2023 - FortisBC has submitted an Effluent Discharge Permit Application to the BC Energy Regulator (BCER) to authorize the discharge of water from construction activities of the Eagle Mountain-Woodfibre Gas Pipeline (EGP Tunnel) at the BC Rail Site and at the Woodfibre LNG site. The deadline to submit comments is January 19, 2024.

View the Fortis BC Environmental Protection Notice ad.

Read the letter to Council.

Public comments can be directed to [email protected] and [email protected]. More details on the project and water management can be found at talkingenergy.ca/egp

  • October 17, 2023 - FortisBC announced the offload and transportation of pipeline from Squamish Terminals to BC Rail Properties will begin on October 23. Please refer to the FortisBC website for project information.

    Public inquiries may be directed to FortisBC Community Relation at [email protected] or 1-855-380-5784 (Monday to Friday during regular business hours).

  • October 17, 2023 – Staff presented Woodfibre LNG and FortisBC project updates 
  • July 28, 2023 - FortisBC notified the District of their intention to begin construction on the Eagle Mountain Gas Pipeline project on or after August 28, 2023.
  • July 18, 2023 – Staff presented Woodfibre LNG and FortisBC project updates and responses from FortisBC to District inquiries regarding their TUP applications.
  • July 11, 2023 – Staff presented information reports on FortisBC’s TUP applications for a construction yard and workforce lodge.
  • June 1, 2023 – Woodfibre LNG notified the District of its intent to begin construction on or after September 1, 2023.
  • May 23, 2023 – Woodfibre LNG presented their draft Community Services and Infrastructure Management Plan to Council.
  • May 23, 2023 – Council provided feedback regarding Woodfibre LNG’s Community Services and Infrastructure Management Plan, and staff updated Council with project updates.
  • March 2023 - FortisBC hosted a Public Information Meeting to provide residents with an opportunity to learn more about the project.  
  • February 2023 - District staff provided a TUP presentation to Council at the Committee of the Whole Meeting for two TUPs received from FortisBC.
  • January 2023 - Woodfibre LNG and Fortis BC, Eagle Mountain, Woodfibre Gas Pipeline (EGP) gave project updates to Council. 
  • May 2022 - Council declares that the public deserves greater transparency regarding the risks related to the proposed FortisBC/Woodfibre LNG Eagle Mountain Pipeline route
  • April 2022 - the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) and Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) approved FortisBC’s amendment application for the Eagle Mountain Pipeline (EGP) project.
  • March 2022 - Woodfibre LNG and Fortis BC, Eagle Mountain Pipeline(EGP) give project updates to Council. 
  • August 2021 – FortisBC received approval for a 5-year extension of their Environmental Certificate.
  • October 2020 - David Keane, President of Woodfibre LNG Limited and Andrew Brown, Operations Director of Woodfibre LNG Limited participated electronically to update Council on the Woodfibre LNG project. 
  • May 2020, Council gave feedback to the Environmental Assessment Office, regarding Woodfibre LNG’s application for an extension to their Environmental Certificate.
  • March 2020 - Woodfibre LNG Federal Decision Statement Implementation Schedule finalized.  
  • July 2019 - Woodfibre LNG received the BC Oil and Gas Commission facilities permit.  
  • March 2018 - CEAA approved the change in cooling technology following Squamish Nation’s selection of air cooling for the Woodfibre LNG plant.  
  • March 2018 - The BC government confirms its commitment to provide competitive rates for LNG facilities powered by electricity from BC Hydro.  
  • February 9, 2017 - The Environmental Assessment Office invited the public to comment on an application for an amendment to the Environmental Assessment Certificate granted to Woodfibre LNG on October 26, 2015, for the construction and operation of the Woodfibre LNG Project.
  • March 1, 2016 - The District of Squamish submitted its response to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency on an analysis of the anticipated greenhouse gas emissions associated with the proposed Woodfibre LNG Project.View the response.  The District's official response to the Environmental Assessment Office, submitted April 30, 2015, was also submitted (linked below). 
  • February 10, 2016 - The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency invited the public to comment on an analysis of the anticipated greenhouse gas emissions associated with the proposed Woodfibre LNG Project, located 7km southwest of Squamish, B.C.
  • September 16, 2015 - Public Comment and Open House announced an Addenda to supplement FortisBC's application to the Environmental Assessment Office. Open House took place in Squamish on October 7, 2015.
  • September 14, 2015 - FortisBC announced alternative design options meant to avoid surface disturbances in the Squamish Estuary and Skwelwil'em Wildlife Management Area and to relocate the proposed compressor station outside of the urban setting in Squamish. View the two Addenda on the Environmental Assessment Office project website. 
  • April 30, 2015 - the District of Squamish submitted its official response on the WLNG and FortisBC pipeline projects to the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO).  
  • Between March 9 and 23, 2015, the District of Squamish hosted a two-week community consultation to inform Council of the opinions of the community before Council submitting an official response on the projects to the EAO.View the report from this consultation, which was presented to the community on April 13, 2015. 
  • February 25, 2015 - the District's Woodfibre LNG Community Committee presented to Council at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park Roundhouse. Members of the public also had the opportunity to ask questions.
  • January 2015 - Woodfibre LNG and Fortis BC submitted formal applications to the provincial Environmental Assessment Office. 
  • September 16, 2014 - the District's Woodfibre LNG Community Committee presented an interim report to Council.  

Proposed Project Components

Proposed WLNG Project Components

The following maps provide proposed project components. Project components are contingent on approvals by various regulators, including the District of Squamish.

Map showing WLNG location of west side of Howe Sound south of Squamish

Map showing location of key project areas

Proposed FortisBC EGP Project Components

map showing proposed fortisbc compressor station at Woodfibre and the proposed gas line route

click to view larger

map showing workforce transport routes from highway 99 at Mamquam Forest Service Road to the temporary workforce lodge site

click to view larger

 

 

Project Timing

On June 2, 2023, WLNG issued its 90-day construction notice to the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO). Various permits and agreements are still required for stages of construction as described in the schedule.  

Milestone Forecasted Date
Site Preparation September 1, 2023
Start of Rough Grading  November 14, 2023
Start of Outside Battery Limits Construction on Site February 13, 2024
Start of Inside Battery Limits Construction on Site August 14, 2024
First Module Arrive at Site October 8, 2024
Complete Material Offloading Facility (MOF) Installation December 20, 2024

On July 28, 2023, FortisBC issued its 30-day construction notice to the BC EAO with the intent of commencing construction activities on August 28, 2023. Various permits and agreements are still required for stages of construction as described in the schedule.

EGP Project Component Construction Start
Initial Construction Activities Q3 2023 to Q1 2024
EGP Tunnel Portals Construction Q3 2023 to Q4 2023
EGP Tunnel Construction Q4 2023 to Q3 2026
Squamish Compressor Station Construction Q1 2024 to Q3 2025
EGP Pipeline Construction Q2 2024 to Q4 2026
EGP Pipeline Twinning Construction in Coquitlam Q1 2024 to Q3 2024
Eagle Mountain Compressor Station Q1 2024 to Q3 2025

WLNG and EGP Regulatory Overview

The WLNG and EGP projects are regulated by local, Indigenous, provincial, and federal governments and related agencies, including the BC Energy Regulator (BCER) and the National Energy Board (NEB).  

Regulatory Process and Responsibilities

Regulatory responsibility for oil and gas activities in British Columbia is delegated to the BC Energy Regulator (BCER) (formerly the BC Oil and Gas Commission) through the Energy Resources Activities Act, which is BC’s regulatory framework for all oil and gas activities in the province. The BCER is an independent, single-window regulator for the natural gas industry, overseeing exploration and development, pipeline transportation, LNG facilities, and reclamation.

LNG facilities and oil and gas activities are also required to undergo an Environmental Assessment in BC, which is administered by the Environmental Assessment Office, and governed by the Environmental Assessment Act.

While WLNG and FortisBC are required to consult with the District of Squamish on various management plans and technical reports as outlined in Environmental Assessment Certificate Conditions, the District does NOT have approval authority over such plans or reports.

Further information is provided below on the regulatory processes and the different Provincial and District responsibilities with respect to the WLNG facility and pipeline projects.

In BC, permits to construct and operate an LNG facility (that does not cross provincial borders) are required from the BCER before construction can begin. Applicants must provide the BCER with detailed project descriptions, construction schedules, design and safety studies and risk assessments demonstrating how they meet or exceed levels of protection as outlined in regulation. The BCER’s role is to ensure plans meet all applicable requirements in the Liquefied Natural Gas Facility Regulation and any associated Energy Resource Activities Act approvals meet specific conditions in order to be in compliance with their permit, if approved. These are legally-binding conditions the company must implement to remain in compliance and ensure environmental impacts are mitigated.

LNG facilities are required to undergo an environmental assessment in B.C. The Environmental Assessment Office follows a clearly defined process in the Environmental Assessment Act to conduct these assessments. This process, including reports and consultation details, is available to the public on the Environmental Assessment Office’s project site (EPIC).

Section 22 of the Environmental Assessment Act establishes a requirement for consultation and notification before applications for oil and gas activity permits can be submitted.


WLNG’s Environmental Assessment Certificate (EAC), issued by BC’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO), includes several conditions WLNG must meet at various project stages.

The BCER provides regulatory oversight for oil and gas pipeline transportation, including the construction, operation and maintenance of the pipeline. Regulatory staff have the legislative authority to make decisions on proposed oil and gas activities. In addition, the Regulator:

  • Tracks permit holder compliance.
  •  Reviews operational submissions.
  •  Provides guidance and processes for operators to submit applications and operational requirements.
  •  Conducts inspections and responds to incidents.
  •  Takes compliance and enforcement action when needed.

Once complete, an oil and gas activity application is submitted to the Regulator for review. The Regulator conducts a wide range of technical reviews during the review and determination process, which include engineering (facilities, pipelines or drilling and production), land and habitat, forestry, agriculture, archaeology and environmental management. During the review and determination process, the Regulator also conducts a wide range of engagement processes, liaising with First Nations, stakeholders, landowners and partner agencies. If the Regulator finds minor and/or major deficiencies, the Regulator contacts the applicant to clarify details, make revisions and/or provide additional information.

Similar to WLNG, FortisBC’s EGP project is also regulated by the EAO through its Environmental Assessment Certificate and must meet conditions in its EAC.

Permit holders must submit an amendment application to add, modify or change any permitted oil and gas activity and/or associated oil and gas activity. An amendment can include requests for multiple changes to a permit. The Regulator will consider only one amendment application per permit at a time.

Once a permit is issued, permit holders are responsible for all permit holder obligations, including outcomes of actions of contracted personnel in carrying out permitted oil and gas activities on behalf of the company.

The permit holder must submit a notice of construction start to the Regulator prior to the start of construction activities.

Under Section 26 of the Energy Resources Activities Act, the Regulator has the authority to refuse, suspend, cancel, or amend a permit.

Legislation empowers, guides, limits, and affects local governments. BC’s Community Charter (CC) and the Local Government Act (LGA) define the core authority of local governments and guide decision-making. As part of its powers and responsibilities defined by the LGA and CC, the District of Squamish regulates land use and development within District boundaries.

The District’s role as a regulator for the WLNG and Fortis projects is guided by the LGA and CC and includes the issuance of development-related permits and work permits associated with the construction and development activities for the projects.

In addition to permits issuance, the District has legislative authority to enter into various agreements to offset associated economic, environmental, and social impacts arising from projects. Forms of agreements can include Service Agreements, Revitalization Tax Exemption Agreements, and Community Benefit Agreements.

While WLNG and FortisBC are required to consult with the District of Squamish on various management plans and technical reports as outlined in EAC Conditions, the District does NOT have approval authority over such plans or reports.

The number and nature of local permits and agreements are subject to construction plans submitted by WLNG and FortisBC. Approved building permits for each project are available through the District’s Open Data platform while the District’s Development Showcase provides an overview of all active Development Permit Applications, including Temporary Use Permits relating to the WLNG and FortisBC EGP project.

View an overview of permits applied for.

Regulatory Timelines

  • On October 13, 2022, WLNG was granted an EAC Transfer Order, transferring 30 percent interest in the WLNG Project to Enbridge and transferring the EAC from Woodfibre LNG Limited to Woodfibre LNG General Partner Inc. In July 2022, Enbridge Inc. and Woodfibre reached an agreement, pursuant to which Enbridge Inc. will invest in WLNG and receive a 30 percent minority interest in the Project.
  • On October 25, 2020, the BC EAO granted an extension to the WLNG’s EAC, making it valid until 2025.  
  • On October 28, 2019, WLNG made an application to the BC EAO to amend the project EAC to consider a floating temporary workforce accommodation (Floatel). The issuance of this certificate amendment is still outstanding.  
  • In July 2019, the WLNG Project received a BC Oil and Gas Commission Facilities Permit and the BC EAO approved a Certificate Amendment Application to amend the definition of Construction in the Schedule B (Table of Conditions) to remove site preparation activities, building or installation of any component of the Project occurs and to add the following sentence to Condition 21, Environmental Management Plans, of the Table of Contents (Schedule B). All requirements pertaining to the certificate of compliance or onsite landfill in section 13.2 of the Application are excluded from the construction environmental management plan and operations environmental management plan.  
  • In March 2018, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) approved the change in cooling technology used for the proposed WLNG facility. 
  • In July 2017, the Province of BC’s regulatory office, the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO), approved a Certificate Amendment Application to change the cooling technology used for the proposed WLNG facility.  
  • In 2015, and 2016 respectively, Squamish Nation, the BC and the Canadian governments, regulators of the WLNG Project, granted three environmental approvals: the Squamish Nation Environmental Assessment Agreement (October 14, 2015), a provincial Environmental Assessment Certificate (October 26, 2015), and a federal Decision Statement (March 18, 2016). 
  • In December 2013, Canada's National Energy Board (NEB) granted an export licence for 2.1 MTPA (million tons per annum) of LNG for 25 years. In April 2017, the NEB increased the term of the export license from 25 years to 40 years in duration.  

Please refer to the regulator websites below for more information on regulatory approvals and supporting documentation for the WLNG Project.  

  • June 24, 2016 - Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw Chiefs and Council voted to approve the project. 
  • August 9, 2016 - the EAO (Environmental Assessment Office) issued an Environmental Assessment Certificate for the Project. 
  • Aug 5, 2021 – the project approval was extended for a further 5 years. 
  • November 22, 2021, 2022 – Amendment # 1 was approved for a 3km pipeline addition to the project, an expansion of the certified pipeline corridor and the relocation of the Squamish Compressor station. 
  • March 22, 2022 – EAO Certificate Amendment Application #2 was applied for. The amendment proposes to increase the size of the temporary workforce accommodation from 2 to 7 hectares – this application is still pending. 

Please refer to the regulator websites below for more information on regulatory approvals and supporting documentation for the FortisBC EGP Project.


District In-Stream Development Applications

Fortis EGP (Eagle Mountain Gas Pipeline): 

WLNG (Woodfibre Liquefied Natural Gas):

  • DPA (Development Permit Area) 1 Marine Exemption and Terrestrial DPA 1. To determine the Streamside Protection and Enhancement Areas (SPEA) for tree removal and vegetation clearing.
  • Development Permit Area 10 – proposed buildings are a warehouse, administration, and maintenance buildings.
  • Temporary Use Permit No. 76 – Floatel
    Proposal for a Floatel located in Howe Sound next to the WLNG site, to house the temporary construction workers.

Provide Your Feedback

Public input will be considered part of the TUP (Temporary Use Permit) processes. All submissions will form part of the public record. Written submissions may be addressed to the General Manager, Community Planning and Sustainability or [email protected]. 

A public meeting on the issuance of these TUPs will be held prior to a Council decision on the issuance of the permits. You can watch for confirmation of upcoming meeting dates and view related agendas here: Council Meetings, Committees & Decisions - District of Squamish - Hardwired for Adventure 

 

Now Receiving Feedback On:

  • Temporary Use Permit No. 74 - Yard - FortisBC Construction Yard Report to Council
    Proposal for a temporary construction yard to serve as a hub for coordination and support of construction activities. 
  • Temporary Use Permit No. 73 - Lodge - FortisBC Workforce Lodge Report to Council
    Proposal for a temporary workforce lodge to house the construction workforce. 
  • Temporary Use Permit No. 76 – Floatel
    Proposal for a Floatel located in Howe Sound next to the WLNG site, to house the temporary construction workers. 

RESOURCES