Cheap power comes at a price: Vancouver Sun op ed

Energy Politics

Marvin Shaffer, an adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University and a public policy consultant, writes an op ed commentary in the Vancouver Sun  Cheap power comes at a price

A striking feature of the government’s jobs strategy is the number of very electric-intensive projects it entails. The strategy calls for the development of new mines and liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities, all of which will require very large amounts of electricity.

The first phase of the proposed LNG plant at Kitimat in itself will reportedly consume some 1.5 million megawatt hours of electricity per year, or roughly one-third of the entire output of the proposed Site C dam project.

Media commentators have questioned whether BC Hydro will be able to supply these large new requirements for electricity.

How Kitimat harbour will look if both Northern Gateway and KM LNG go ahead


Detail of a map filed by Enbridge Northern Gateway with the Joint Review Panel showing the foot print of the proposed bitumen terminal and the LNG terminal.  The proposed BC LNG terminal would add a third terminal at North Cove (green text on this map)

A recent filing by the Enbridge Northern Gateway project with the Joint Review Panel shows just what Kitimat harbour and the service area will look like if the liquified natural gas projects go ahead and so does the Northern Gateway.

Three maps show areas where the two pipelines follow the same routes and where they diverge beginning just east of the service centre.  (Larger versions of maps pop up if you click your mouse)

532-EnbridgeLNG4-thumb-500x268-531.jpgIn this map, the Enbridge pipeline is yellow with a black outline, the LNG pipeline is red. Where there are yellow and red alternating squares, that means the two pipelines will follow the same route. Solid orange lines are paved roads,broken orange lines are unpaved roads and the green lines are power lines.

535-EnbridgeLNG3-thumb-500x265-534.jpgJust before the pipelines reach the service centre, they diverge, the yellow Enbridge pipeline following the road route around the periphery of the service centre, while the gas pipeline at first follows the route of the Pacific Trails Pipeline and then snakes off at the hydro substation.  The two pipelines then run parallel just off Haisla Boulevard across from the Rio Tinto Alcan plant. The green line beside the two pipelines marks a hydro line that would be build to power the facilities.

538-EnbridgeLNG2-thumb-500x265-537.jpgThe final map shows the Enbridge pipeline coming into the bitumen/condensate terminal with its large footprint, while the natural gas pipeline continues, crosses Bish Creek and then enters the Bish Cove KM LNG terminal.  If the BC LNG terminal is built at North Cove, just west of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway facility, a branch pipeline would go from the main gas pipeline down to that facility. (There were indications at the June NEB hearings that negotiations were under way on “sharing” gas “molecules” between the two groups).

541-EnbridgeLNG5-thumb-500x447-540.jpgFootprint of the Enbridge Northern Gateway plant.

Enbridge photo maps showing Northern Gateway and LNG routes in pdf format

Al Arabiya turns its eyes on Kitimat

Energy link

The English-language website of one the world’s major Arab-language satellite television networks  Al Arabiya, has turned its eye on Kitimat, the Northern Gateway pipeline and the repeated claim by the Conservative government that Canada is an “energy super power.”

The article:  Canada: Energy Superpower?  is an analysis by Mary E. Stonaker, described as “an independent scholar, most recently with the Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore.” Stonaker puts Canada’s energy policy, including the pipelines to Kitimat, in a world wide perspective, summing up the story for  Saudi-owned Al Arabiya‘s main audience in the oil-rich Middle East. It doesn’t just look at oil and gas energy, but hydro, solar and wind.

“Northern Gateway” has yet to be fully hatched though it is encouraging to see Canada expand its partnerships beyond its southern neighbor especially during the recent economic downturn. Relying too heavily on one consumer, no matter who that consumer may be, is setting up an extremely weak energy security strategy.