FortisBC’s Tilbury facility in Delta shipped its first cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to China in a pilot project to determine long-term feasibility.

Logistics and equipment were provided by True North Energy Corporation and CIMC ENRIC Holdings Limited and the cargo was shipped from Vancouver.

“This pilot is a small, but significant step for B.C.’s LNG export industry,” said Douglas Stout, vice-president of Market Development and External Relations, FortisBC.

Whilst FortisBC has invested in expanding its Tilbury LNG storage, True North has been exploring ways to bring Canadian natural gas to Asia.

“True North Energy is pleased to work with FortisBC, a clean energy leader, and CIMC ENRIC, a global leading LNG equipment provider and active advocator of innovative LNG logistic solutions to make the first ever LNG export to Asia from Canada,” said Calvin Xu, CEO of True North Energy Corporation.

By next year, China is projected to become the world’s second largest LNG importer. The Chinese government is stepping up its efforts in combatting air pollution and LNG imports have more than tripled in the last six years.

FortisBC has been liquefying natural gas at Tilbury since 1971, when the facility opened to supplement Lower Mainland supply during the coldest winter days. More recently, thanks to FortisBC innovations, natural gas is supplied to remote communities and heavy-duty vehicle fleets. Through its marine bunkering process, FortisBC can also transport LNG to fuel vessels along the West Coast. These innovations helped FortisBC develop the capability to carry out this first shipment of LNG from Canada to China.