NEWS
05/19/2016 13:20 EDT | Updated 05/20/2017 01:12 EDT

B.C. minister applauds LNG agreement between Fortis, Hawaiian Electric

VICTORIA — Energy company Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS) has signed an agreement to provide liquefied natural gas from British Columbia to the Hawaiian Islands.

B.C.'s minister of natural gas development Rich Coleman says the agreement between Fortis and Hawaiian Electric Company is one of the first to export LNG from this province.

A news release from Fortis says the 20-year agreement is still subject to regulatory approvals in B.C. and Hawaii, but could see 800,000 metric tons of LNG shipped from FortisBC's LNG facility in Delta to Hawaii, starting in 2021. 

Coleman says the arrangement showcases British Columbia's capacity to supply clean energy to new markets.

The ministry says B.C. liquefied natural gas will allow Hawaiian Electric to decrease reliance on imported oil, cut greenhouse gas emissions and begin the switch to 100 per cent renewable energy.

FortisBC's website says a $400-million expansion of its Tilbury plant in Delta should be complete this year as the company works to meet the storage and transportation requirements of ultra-cooled, liquid natural gas.

"Our small-scale Tilbury facility fits well with the needs of customers like Hawaiian Electric and shipping from Canada's West Coast costs less than from other locations, including the U.S.," says Fortis president Barry Perry.

The agreement should lead to further expansion of the facility, says Coleman, adding that more than 470 tradespeople have registered for work on the project.