From: Associated Press
Published September 2, 2004 12:00 AM

TransCanada, Petro-Canada To Jointly Build Liquefied Gas Plant In Quebec

Two of Canada's biggest energy companies, TransCanada Corp. and Petro-Canada Inc., plan to build a liquefied natural gas plant in northeastern Quebec to meet North Americans' growing demand for the fuel.

The two Calgary-based companies announced Wednesday they had struck a joint venture deal to build the Cacouna Energy plant in Gros Cacouna, northeast of Riviere-du-Loup near the Quebec border with New Brunswick . If approved by regulators, the plant would begin operating in about two years.

The proposed TransCanada-Petro-Canada plant would be capable of receiving, storing, and regasifying liquefied natural gas with an average annual capacity to send out about 500 million cubic feet a day of natural gas.

TransCanada would operate the plant, while Petro-Canada — which is also in talks on a proposed liquefied natural gas plant for Russia — will supply the gas.

Construction will require 500 to 1,000 workers, while 30 to 50 long-term jobs will be created to operate the plant, the companies said. The cost of the project was estimated at C$600 million (US$460 million).

"This development is an extension of TransCanada's commitment to help meet the energy needs of consumers in North America, providing a safe, clean, reliable source of energy for the future," said Hal Kvisle, TransCanada's chief executive.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas supercooled to liquid form for transport by sea on tankers. At the terminals, LNG from overseas is converted back to gas before entering distribution pipelines in North America .

Several proposals have been advanced for such plants in Quebec and the Maritimes as well as in the United States as demand for LNG grows at a time when North American natural gas production is either flat or dropping and demand is soaring for home heating and power plant fuel to generate electricity.

Currently, there are only four liquefied natural gas terminals in the United States . An additional six have been approved, but all of those are located to the southern states.

In Canada , LNG plants are being developed in the Maritimes by Irving Oil and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. Meanwhile, Quebec 's dominant natural gas distributor, Gaz Metro, and partners Enbridge Inc. of Calgary and Gaz de France, have proposed a C$2.7 billion (US$2.1 billion) project for a deepwater port and liquefied natural gas terminal near Quebec City .

In the United States , seven to 10 new terminals are needed by 2025, assuming a new pipeline in Alaska opens as scheduled, according to the National Petroleum Council, which studied the issue for the U.S. Energy Department.

Source: Associated Press

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