McDermott Scoops Woodfibre LNG Contract

Contractor will engineer and construct the 2.1 mtpa plant in British Columbia to be fully powered by hydroelectric technology.

McDermott Woodfibre Design
Schematic design of the planned Woodfibre LNG plant in British Columbia.
Hand-out/McDermott International, Ltd

McDermott International has signed an engineering, procurement, fabrication, and construction (EPFC) contract with Woodfibre LNG for the company's planned 2.1 mtpa plant near Squamish, British Columbia. The project includes a single-train, LNG export facility on the previous Woodfibre pulp mill site with storage capacity of 250,000 m3. The plant will be powered using 100% renewable hydroelectric technology.

In addition to the EPFC work, McDermott will also be responsible for commissioning and startup services. Pre-installation work is planned for early 2022 and will gradually ramp up to September 2023, when major construction is targeted to begin. Major works will continue through to substantial completion, expected in the third quarter of 2027.

By harnessing the low-carbon gas resources of British Columbia’s Montney region to replace coal-fired energy sources in Asia, Woodfibre LNG will reduce global emissions by 3.5 million tonnes CO2e per annum, equivalent to removing 5% of British Columbia’s annual emissions from the atmosphere each year, according to the company. McDermott and Woodfibre’s collaboration on front-end engineering and facility design, relative to typical LNG facilities, is expected to result in a reduction of around 86% of the carbon dioxide emissions per tonne of LNG produced.

The facility will use hydroelectricity for the main liquefaction process, and includes technology that enables liquefaction machinery to restart without flaring, a recycling system for "boil-off" gas, and additional transformers, switchgear, and transmission lines.

About 70% of Woodfibre LNG’s annual throughput has already been sold via a pair of offtake deals with BP.

“Our contract with McDermott is a positive step forward for this substantial piece of clean energy infrastructure,” said Christine Kennedy, president of Woodfibre LNG. “Together, we will be building the lowest-emission, most sustainable and innovative LNG export facility in the world. A particular point of pride for us is that the Squamish Nation serves as a full environmental regulator for this project. Serving as a unique example of economic reconciliation, this is the first arrangement of its type for an LNG facility.”

McDermott will manage onshore construction, leveraging Canadian-based contractors and commitments included in Woodfibre LNG's Impact Benefit Agreements with the Squamish Nation. It is estimated that 650 people will be working on the Woodfibre LNG site at peak construction. The EPFC contract commits McDermott to Woodfibre LNG's hiring priority for qualified Squamish Nation members and local workers first, followed by British Columbians and then Canadians.