05/21/2014 12:52 EDT | Updated 07/21/2014 05:59 EDT

Kitimat LNG plant picks Chiyoda-led group for engineering

LNG Canada has chosen a consortium lead by Japan’s Chiyoda Corp. to do preliminary engineering for its $10-billion natural gas liquefaction terminal in Kitimat, B.C.

The project has yet to get the final go-ahead, but Chiyoda will work with Foster Wheeler, SAIPEM and WorleyParsons on front-end engineering and design.

LNG Canada  — held by Shell Canada Energy (50 per cent), PetroChina (20 per cent), Korea Gas Corp. (15 per cent) and Mitsubishi Corp. (15 per cent)  – said it chose the contractors over another group led by France’s Technip S.A. because of demonstrated experience in LNG development and in Canada.

The Chiyoda-led group, called CFSW LNG Constructors, will begin activities in Kitimat on June 1, 2014. They will be in charge of hiring local general contractors for any site work if the project goes ahead.

The LNG Canada plan for two LNG processing plants each with the capacity to produce six million tonnes annually is one of two LNG projects proposed for Kitimat and 13 proposed for B.C.

None of these projects has had a final go-ahead. LNG Canada CEO Andy Calitz said a decision could still be two years down the road.

“While this is a great step forward, a decision to build the facility is still some time away,” he said in a news release.

The project faces a community consultation process and then environmental assessments by the province and Ottawa before it will be cleared to build.

The B.C. government is hosting an international LNG conference in Vancouver today, the second year it has held a conference geared at creating interest in the LNG industry.

Executives from some of the biggest energy companies will be speaking and First Nations and community leaders have been invited to take part.

The province sees LNG exports to Asia as a promising new market and a means of boosting economic growth.

Premier Christy Clark has repeatedly promised that B.C.'s prospective LNG industry will be the cleanest in the world.

But organizers of what's being called a "counter summit" at Simon Fraser University, say people from northwestern and northeastern BC, where all the LNG activity is taking place, are not seeing the guarantees they need.

"What a lot of the community folks are saying is that there are problems associated with this, and they do not feel their government is listening," said Leila Darwish of the Council of Canadians, organizer of the counter summit.