LNG export terminal proposed by Petronas-led group for Lelu Island at Prince Rupert port is one of a series of new shipping facilities being considered for B.C.'s North Coast

Study to prepare for North Coast shipping increase

LNG, container and bulk shipping proposals reach as far north as Stewart on the Alaska border

The B.C. government is preparing for increased shipping traffic on the North Coast, from liquefied natural gas to containers and bulk commodity exports.

The planning and policy office of the B.C. Ministry of Transportation has posted an invitation to bid on a “marine services needs assessment” for B.C. shipping, with a closing date of Jan. 16. It avoids mentioning oil shipping, but that would be included in the study.

“The ministry is interested in how increases in vessel traffic may impact demand for marine services along the coast,” says the invitation on Canada’s Business Network. “Proposed projects include container terminals, energy projects including natural gas liquefaction and export terminals, an bulk commodity export facilities.

“Some of these projects proposed new elements for the province, whether it be handling new commodities such as LNG and other energy products, or developing port projects in parts of the province where the marine services industry is not well developed, such as Kitimat and Stewart.”

Kitimat is proposed as an export site for LNG and Alberta heavy oil, with a history as an aluminum smelting and petroleum products centre.

Stewart, a remote coastal community at the head of the Portland Canal, has a population of about 500 across from Alaska’s Misty Fiords National Park.

Chinese investors behind Canada Stewart Energy Group Ltd. have proposed a floating LNG facility to begin production in 2017, with a second phase of land-based production to follow.