Canaport LNG Construction Nears Completion

First commercial send-out scheduled for end of 1st Quarter 2009 

Canaport LNG, the state-of-the-art liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving and regassification terminal, is currently in the final stages of construction. The summer months brought not only sunny weather but also a peak employment record and a surge of activity on the project. Our dedicated team has diligently worked to reach our engineering design, procurement and construction milestones put in front of them and are in the midst of completing the third tank.           


                                           CANAPORT LNG SITE NOVEMBER 2008

The overall project status is 87% complete (this includes procurement, engineering, onshore and offshore construction).

"Onshore construction is approximately 87% complete with offshore construction 99.9% complete," says Adolfo Azcarraga, Construction Engineering Manager for Canaport LNG. "We are pleased about our progress as we near completion."

All marine work has been finished, including the installation of the jetty - a metal support structure with a concrete deck. The jetty allows LNG ships to dock and unload the gas through a pipeline that carries it to the onshore tanks. The remaining 0.1% of the offshore project involves wrapping up any final details. Workers will be installing curbs on the on-loading platform for LNG spillage containment, ensuring that all welding has been completed, and making any paint touch ups required. The remaining 17% of the onshore work includes pipe assembly, insulation of the cryogenic lines, electrical cable pulling and connecting, and the commissioning of systems. The exteriors of tanks 1 and 2 are completely built with insulating about to begin.

The initial startup of the terminal will occur in several phases and will require a process to cool down its tanks and interconnecting pipes that will store and carry the LNG when a shipment is received.

The initial startup phase for Canaport LNG is scheduled for early in the New Year and will involve the cooling down of the first of three tanks along with the piping/process system equipment required to support the operation of that first tank. This will prepare the terminal for its first commercial send-out of natural gas to Canadian and US markets targeted for the end of the first quarter of the New Year.

The commissioning and cool down of tank 2 will occur later in 2009 bringing the terminal to its full output capacity of 28 millions cubic meters (one billion cubic feet/day) of natural gas per day. Tank three will be commissioned in the first quarter of 2010.

According to SNC-SNAM, the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for Canaport LNG, the Project has moved along successfully considering the worldwide construction industry, and the magnitude of energy projects occurring.

Azcarraga said "A project of this magnitude typically takes 36-40 months. And this is how long it will have taken us by the time we are finished," he explains. "The fact that we have been able to stick to this timeline is due to the great team we are fortunate enough to have working with us."

Completion of the terminal is still on schedule with a target of mid-2009. Canaport LNG will be the first LNG receiving and regassification terminal in Canada and the first land-based LNG facility built in the north-east of the United States in the past 30 years.


Construction Report Update


                     Photo of the third LNG tank being built at the Canaport LNG site, October 2008

Progress continues on the construction of the third tank at the Canaport LNG terminal with the raising of the metal roof this past September. Next steps include the welding of the roof frame to the rafters; the installation of thousands of pounds of rebar; and the pouring of the concrete that will be the actual roof. Construction of both tanks 1 and 2 is nearing completion with interior work continuing.

"These tanks work in a similar fashion to the thermos bottles many of us use in our lunches," explains Fraser Forsythe, Health, Safety, Security and Environmental Manager for Canaport LNG. A thermos has an inner lining to protect its contents, much like the tanks, with their inner lining made of a specialized nine percent nickel steel. Perlite and foam glass block insulation form a barrier between the tank's lining and its walls, which are made of 80-centimetre-thick cryogenic concrete. The roof of the tank consists of 40-50 centimetre-thick concrete over steel.

The Canaport LNG terminal was originally designed, and subsequently approved by the provincial Department of the Environment, to include the construction of three tanks. However, when the original build process was sent to tender, two tanks was considered the optimum for the facility to run at full capacity while adjusting to the capital cost of the market.

Given our team's success in efficiently building these two tanks, and the economic potential, it became apparent that another tank was needed. A third tank will allow Canaport LNG greater operational flexibility and the security of knowing there is always a supply of liquefied natural gas available.

While there is room for further expansion, the original Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) outlined only three tanks, not four or five. If there are to be more tanks built onsite, Canaport LNG will follow the formal EIA process.

Construction Employment on Site Tops 1500

Local Skilled Labour Stays Focused on Quality

In our original projections, we forecasted that a peak of 500 construction jobs would be generated during the building of the Canaport LNG terminal. As we begin the final stages of this phase of construction, an even more accurate and promising picture is emerging.

Over the summer months there has been a consistent daily employment level of 1,500 workers onsite, almost double our original estimate. This translates into wages of approximately $26 million and indirect expenditures of $14 million in the region, and represents a significant boost to the local workforce, economy and community. This level of employment is expected to continue throughout the fall.

The entire team is dedicated and eager to reach the construction completion milestone, and we have begun building the third tank. As such, we have been able to draw on a much larger workforce than we anticipated, mainly from local and regional contractors.

Welders, pipe fitters and electricians are busy on the final stages of the construction. They have begun insulating the cryogenic pipes and will continue to work on this over the winter months. Much of the outside work will be refocused to what can be done inside while the weather is cold.

The first of the projected energy hub projects is nearing completion with the construction of the Canaport LNG terminal. This undertaking is a shining example of what New Brunswick can offer when it comes to qualified labour, management, technology and commitment.

Saint John in particular is becoming known worldwide for its ability to take a project of this size from concept to reality.

The Canaport LNG terminal will be a major driver of economic activity in the province for the next few years. The long-term benefits for all Atlantic Canadians are great, and they start with the number of jobs created right now.


"Saint John Provides a Wealth of Experience and Talent"

Isabel Fernandez, Canaport LNG Human Resource Manager

"One of the most challenging and rewarding tasks a Human Resource Manager has to perform is to recruit and work with people who posses great skill and talent in their chosen career" says Isabel Fernandez, HR Manager, Canaport LNG.

The people employed in our operations greatly affect our success. We recently collaborated with the local Saint John Community College and were committed to hiring from the local talent pool of graduates.

We found that they were well educated and trained in specific abilities enabling them to provide critical skills necessary for our company.

We tried to be very proactive in our recruitment approach and were fortunate to have been able to pull from the local labour pool of experienced workers and establish a qualified operational and maintenance team creating continuity. We were looking for people who were willing to commit to a long-term role with our organization.

"The talent in the Saint John Community is really quite amazing," she says. "My ultimate goal is to ensure fair and equitable job and promotional opportunities and services for both current employees and individuals seeking employment with our company," says Isabel.


                                       Canaport LNG's Operations and Maintenance Team


Canaport LNG In Our Community

The past few months have been an extremely busy time for us both with construction on site and also within our community. We've had the opportunity to be part of a number of activities that have been as rewarding to us as they have been beneficial to the community.

Ocean Park Restoration Project

Ocean Drive Park received a face-lift thanks to many Canaport LNG employees, community residents and a group of dedicated and hard-working local children. Five in particular really went above and beyond.

All five were recognized by the City of Saint John for their hard work. The Mayor officially deputized the children in a special ceremony at City Hall. Ocean Drive Park now has five official deputies to look after it.

Canaport LNG employees work with community to restore the park


Canaport LNG's Latino Fiesta

More than 200 people attended Canaport LNG's Lily Lake fundraising event in October.

More than $30,000 was raised for the Pavilion's community projects initiatives which will help keep their skating and swimming program open to the public. Nearly 2,000 community residents joined us on the Lily Lake beach to watch the 30-minute firework display after the dinner.


Canaport LNG presented a cheque for $30,000 to the Lily Lake Pavilion


Source: Canaport LNG ISSUE #7, DECEMBER 2008