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Canadian Energy Centre

Opportunity knocks for Canada to become key LNG supplier as U.S. pauses projects


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Rendering courtesy Cedar LNG

From the Canadian Energy Centre

By Cody Ciona

“Everyone wins if Canada can get into the game.”

Canada’s emerging liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry has an opportunity to become a key supplier for energy-hungry countries in Asia and beyond following the U.S. pause on new or pending LNG export approvals, industry watchers say. 

With much of the world looking for alternatives to Russian natural gas following its invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the U.S. emerged as the number one global exporter of LNG. According to the International Energy Agency, the U.S. accounted for 80 per cent of additional supply in 2023. 

But with the U.S. putting its LNG industry on pause, the timing could be good for Canada. 

The recent completion of the Coastal Gaslink pipeline along with progress on Canadas first LNG export projects are bringing Canada closer to becoming a key global supplier. 

An opportunity to showcase clean LNG 

As the LNG Canada terminal moves into its final stages of construction, Kitimat, B.C. will become the gateway for exports from Canada. 

For First Nations LNG Alliance CEO Karen Ogen, this means Canada, which has so far missed the global LNG boom, will have another chance at becoming a player.  

I think this is an opportunity for us to showcase our clean LNG and I think we can do it through the various projects [underway].” Ogen said. 

Those projects, which include LNG Canada and Woodfibre LNG that are under construction, along with the proposed Cedar LNG and Ksi Lisims LNG terminals, will operate with an emissions intensity less than half that of the global average.  

Cedar LNG, headed by the Haisla First Nation, will operate at less than one-third of the global average. 

Ogen said these projects will create significant prosperity, not just for Canada and B.C. but for Indigenous peoples as well. 

It’ll help boost our Canadian economy, it’ll help B.C.s economy, and most specifically it will help the Indigenous people and our economy. If were the most disadvantaged population living in poverty, then this should help our people get out of poverty.” she said. 

Everyone wins if Canada can get into the game. 

Reduced LNG supply could increase reliance on coal 

Racim Gribaa, founder and president of Global LNG Consulting Inc., said a potential decrease in LNG exports to international markets, particularly in Asia, may heighten dependence on coal, thereby escalating global emissions. 

If [importers] can’t get U.S. LNG, they would be left with very few viable alternatives including coal. And if they burn coal, that’s twice as much emissions. Coal is cheaper and reliablebut emits twice as much carbon. Countries in Asia such as China, with over 1,140 operational coal plants, are building new coal plants every week both in Asia and abroad,” Gribaa said. 

Canada has a significant geographical advantage to supply LNG to Asia that can reduce associated transportation emissions by up to 60 per cent, he said.  

Export terminals in B.C. are about half the distance to Asia compared to terminals on the U.S. Gulf Coast. 

The distance between Canada and the key market is a huge advantage, where we are the same distance to Asia as Australia,” Gribaa said. 

Monetizing natural gas in Canada through LNG exports not only will help reduce global emissions but it also will enhance health and economic well being of Canadians future generations.” 

Establishing Canada’s LNG credibility 

The starting point will be LNG Canada in 2025, which will allow Canada to export LNG on international scale, Gribaa said. It will help establish Canadas credibility as a supplier, just as the U.S. pauses new development.  

Once that credibility is established, Canadian LNG could become a bigger player on the global scale. 

Canada’s abundant natural gas reserves empower the nation to produce and export decades of dependable, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly LNG to global markets, leveraging direct marine routes unaffected by constraints like the Panama or Suez Canals, the Strait of Hormuz, or having to navigate around the Cape of Good Hope,” Gribaa said 

“Canada stands poised to secure market share for years to come, irrespective of whether the U.S. temporarily halts or reconsiders its involvement. 

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Canadian Energy Centre

Nine major insights from Shell’s latest global LNG outlook

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A worker at Shell’s Hazira LNG import terminal, about 250 kilometers from Mumbai, India. Photo courtesy Shell

From the Canadian Energy Centre

By Deborah Jaremko

Led by growing demand in China and the need for energy security, LNG is playing an increasingly important role in global gas supply

Global energy giant Shell has released its latest outlook for world liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply and demand through 2040. Here are nine key insights about what to expect in the future.

1. LNG is playing an increasingly important role in global gas supply. Total world LNG demand is set to continue growing beyond 2040.

2. Global LNG trade reached 404 million tonnes in 2023, an increase of 7 million tonnes compared to 2022. Over the last five years, LNG demand grew by 45 million tonnes, or 13 per cent.

3. In 2040, the world is expected to consume up to 685 million tonnes of LNG, an increase of nearly 70 per cent compared to 2023.

4. The United States became the world’s largest LNG exporter in 2023, shipping 86 million tonnes, followed by Australia, Qatar, Russia and Malaysia.

5. By 2030, North America will supply about 30 per cent of global LNG demand, led by natural gas from major basins including the Appalachia (Marcellus) play in the eastern United States and the Montney play in Alberta and British Columbia. But the global gas market is increasingly exposed to U.S. risks like the Biden administration’s pause on new LNG approvals.

6. China is likely to dominate LNG demand growth as the country’s industries seek to cut carbon emissions by switching from coal to gas. With China’s coal-based steel sector accounting for more emissions than the total emissions of the UK, Germany and Turkey combined, gas has an essential role to play in tackling one of the world’s biggest sources of carbon emissions and local air pollution. China’s gas demand is expected to rise by more than 50 per cent by 2040.

7. Natural gas, delivered as LNG, provides flexibility to balance intermittent solar and wind power generation. In countries with high levels of renewables in their power generation mix, gas provides short-term flexibility and long-term security of supply. Gas provides grid stability, enabling a higher share of renewables in power grids.

8. LNG continues to play a vital role in European energy security, with European nations importing more than 120 million tonnes in 2023, assisted by new regasification facilities. Europe will continue to rely on LNG to support its energy mix through 2030, even as total European natural gas demand is expected to decline by about 25 per cent.

9. South Asia and Southeast Asia are emerging as major LNG import regions, with Vietnam, and the Philippines starting to import LNG to backfill domestic gas declines. From less than 10 million tonnes in 2020, LNG imports to Thailand, Bangladesh, Vietnam and the Philippines are expected to rise to about 40 million tonnes in 2030 and more than 60 million tonnes in 2040. 

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Low emissions, Indigenous-owned Cascade Power Project to boost Alberta electrical grid reliability

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The Cascade Power Project. Photo courtesy Kinetcor

From the Canadian Energy Centre

By Will Gibson

New 900-megawatt natural gas-fired facility to supply more than eight per cent of Alberta’s power needs

Alberta’s electrical grid is about to get a boost in reliability from a major new natural gas-fired power plant owned in part by Indigenous communities.  

Next month operations are scheduled to start at the Cascade Power Project, which will have enough capacity to supply more than eight per cent of Alberta’s energy needs.  

It’s good news in a province where just over one month ago an emergency alert suddenly blared on cell phones and other electronic devices warning residents to immediately reduce electricity use to avoid outages.  

“Living in an energy-rich province, we sometimes take electricity for granted,” says Chana Martineau, CEO of the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (AIOC) and member of the Frog Lake First Nation.  

“Given much of the province was dealing with -40C weather at the time, that alert was a vivid reminder of the importance of having a reliable electrical grid.” 

Cascade Power was the first project to receive funding through the AIOC, the provincial corporation established in 2020 to provide loan guarantees for Indigenous groups seeking partnerships in major development projects. 

So far, the AIOC has underwritten more than $500 million in support. This year it has $3 billion  available, up from $2 billion in 2023.  

In August 2020 it provided a $93 million loan guarantee to the Indigenous Communities Consortium — comprised of the Alexis Nakota Sioux NationEnoch Cree NationKehewin Cree NationOChiese First NationPaul First Nation, and Whitefish (Goodfish) Lake First Nation — to become equity owners. 

The 900-megawatt, $1.5-billion facility is scheduled to come online in March. 

“It’s personally gratifying for me to see how we moved from having Indigenous communities being seen as obstacles to partners in a generation,” says Martineau. 

The added capacity brought by Cascade is welcomed by the Alberta Electrical System Operator (AESO), which is responsible for the provinces electrical grid. =

“The AESO welcomes all new forms of generation into the Alberta marketplace, including renewables, thermal, storage, and others,” said Diane Kossman, a spokeswoman for the agency.  

“It is imperative that Alberta continue to have sufficient dispatchable generation to serve load during peak demand periods when other forms of generation are not able to contribute in a meaningful way.” 

The Cascade project also provides environmental benefits. It is a so-called “combined cycle” power facility, meaning it uses both a gas turbine and a steam turbine simultaneously to produce up to 50 per cent more electricity from the same amount of fuel than a traditional facility.  

Once complete, Cascade is expected to be the largest and most efficient combined cycle power plant in Alberta, producing 62 per cent less CO2 than a coal-fired power plant and 30 per cent less CO2 than a typical coal-to-gas conversion.  

“This project really is aligned with the goals of Indigenous communities on environmental performance,” says Martineau. 

The partnership behind the power plant includes Axium InfrastructureDIF Capital Partners  and Kineticor Resource Corp. along with the Indigenous Communities Consortium. 

The nations invested through a partnership with OPTrust, one of Canada’s largest pension funds.  

“Innovation is not just what we invest in, but it is also how we invest,” said James Davis, OPTrust’s chief investment officer. 

“The participation of six First Nations in the Cascade Power Project is a prime example of what is possible when investors, the government and local communities work together.” 

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