FortisBC Holdings Inc. has reached an agreement with the Snuneymuxw First Nation community “to work in close collaboration” on planned expansions of the Tilbury LNG facility in Delta, British Columbia (BC).

In operation since 1971, the liquefied natural gas facility added 0.25 mmty (33 MMcf/d) of liquefaction capacity and a 46,000 cubic meter (1 Bcf) storage tank in 2019.

The latest agreement “respects Snuneymuxw’s rights in relation to the potential project impacts and represents a commitment to share benefits related to the Tilbury projects,” FortisBC said. “Snuneymuxw has committed to supporting Tilbury projects and participating in regulatory processes associated with the Tilbury projects including the Tilbury LNG Storage Expansion Project and the Tilbury Marine Jetty Project. The agreement also ensures FortisBC is supporting Snuneymuxw’s community members through educational opportunities, relevant training and continued investments in the community.”

The first phase of the planned expansions would see the terminal’s liquefaction capacity increase by up to 0.65 million metric tons/year (mmty), or 88.5 MMcf/d.

Phase two entails an additional storage tank of up to 142,400 cubic meters and additional liquefaction of up to 2.6 mmty (342 MMcf/d). Planned works also include the Tilbury Marine Jetty, which would enable ship-to-ship LNG marine fueling in the Port of Vancouver.

“FortisBC recognizes the importance of a relationship with us and respects our Aboriginal and Treaty rights within our traditional territory and waters,” said Snuneymuxw Chief Mike Wyse, who signed the agreement. “We know that sustainable development requires project level decisions by government and regulators, and we support the Tilbury projects that FortisBC has developed and will build on. We look forward to working with FortisBC, and other participants in this work, to ensure we share and build on the opportunities before us: mutual prosperity, employment and protection of the environment.”

FortisBC CEO Roger Dall’Antonia added, “Coming together to establish an agreement like this takes time and a lot of thoughtful discussion, but I know it is worthwhile. Contributions from Snuneymuxw will ensure FortisBC can plan and build Tilbury projects that will help minimize environmental impacts and create benefits that will help support the Snuneymuxw community.” 

The agreement follows a similar understanding reached in 2022 with the Musqueam Indian Band to jointly work toward completing the Tilbury expansions.

In related news, TC Energy Corp. on Wednesday announced a 29% increase in the expected cost of the 2.6 Bcf/d Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline, which would connect Western Canadian gas supply with LNG export markets on the BC coast.