THE province is supporting FortisBC’s investment of up to $400 million in the expansion of the Tilbury liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility that will create over 300 person-years of jobs and economic development in the province, announced Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy, Mines and Minister responsible for Core Review, on Thursday.

The government is exempting FortisBC’s expansion of its Tilbury LNG facility from a certificate of public convenience and necessity review by the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC). The facility, located on Tilbury Island in Delta, has been used for natural gas storage since 1971. It takes natural gas from the pipeline during periods of low demand and converts it into a liquid that can be stored. This exemption positions FortisBC to begin construction of an expansion that will provide LNG to transportation customers as a cleaner alternative to diesel. The facility is expected to be providing LNG fuel by mid-2016.

To increase the adoption of natural gas in British Columbia’s transportation sector and deliver on the Province’s Natural Gas Strategy, government is also updating the greenhouse gas reduction regulation. It will now allow utilities to expand their incentives to include trains and mine-haul trucks and to provide tanker-truck delivery services to trucking, mining and marine-transportation customers. Government is also directing the BCUC to set an LNG dispensing rate of $4.35/gigajoule.

These actions will support new jobs and economic development by making it easier for the transportation sector, industrial facilities and remote communities to use natural gas.

Bennett said: “Government wanted to get out of the way and allow the transportation fuel component of the LNG industry develop quickly.

“This $400-million investment in FortisBC’s Tilbury LNG facility will build B.C.’s market place for the world’s cleanest fuel, LNG, and create over 300 person years of employment in the Lower Mainland.”

Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development, said: “British Columbia has a vast supply of natural gas to meet global demands and local markets. The FortisBC’s Tilbury LNG facility is a good example of how the diversification of our natural-gas sector is creating cleaner transportation options and economic advantages at home.”