More than $50 million in committed local spending and significant employment benefits across the region
SURREY, BC, Nov. 16, 2015 /CNW/ – B.C.-based companies and skilled workers are benefiting from the expansion of FortisBC's Tilbury liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Delta, according to data released today by FortisBC on the one-year anniversary of the groundbreaking for the expansion.
FortisBC has committed more than $50 million in local contracts in 2015 and is using products and services sourced from more than 100 companies in 10 local communities. To date, the expansion project has generated more than 65,000 hours of employment and provided apprenticeship and First Nations training.
FortisBC has engaged Bechtel Canada Co. as prime contractor on the project. FortisBC is also proud to work with the Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) Construction / Matcon Civil Joint Venture, which provides civil construction site services. Together, these firms have approximately 95 staff working full time on the project – 90% of these employees reside locally. Also contributing to the project are 40 trade workers from Western Pacific Enterprises, the general contractor working on the associated electrical substation.
“From the beginning, we've strived to give local businesses and First Nations the opportunity to work on our Tilbury expansion project, including the early design and engineering phase, and now construction and civil work,” said Michael Mulcahy, President & CEO of FortisBC. “Thanks to those early efforts to engage local suppliers, we have a significant number of B.C.-based companies pre-qualified and active on the project.”
“We are actively working with local businesses and craft professionals to maximize their participation in this important energy project,” said Roger Radabaugh, Bechtel's project manager on the project. “We are looking forward to continued collaboration with FortisBC in delivering significant economic and employment benefits to the region.”
In October 2014, FortisBC held the first business-to-business meeting in Delta as part of its local contractor strategy. Throughout 2015, representatives from Bechtel, also based in Delta, met one-on-one with a number of local suppliers to pre-qualify businesses for the opportunity. Currently, there are 475 craft workers registered for Tilbury.
Of the 10 local communities, Delta and Richmond have benefited the most from work on the expansion project over the last year. In Delta, the project is benefiting from the expertise of 32 locally owned businesses or companies with satellite offices in the community. For companies like Delta-based Ideal Welders Ltd., working on the Tilbury expansion means employees – many of whom have worked for the company for more than 20 years – can work where they live.
“The downturn in the oil sands has hurt many companies across Canada,” said Jim Longo, president of Ideal Welders Ltd. “The FortisBC Tilbury LNG expansion is a good project; it's keeping our shop in Delta busy and allowing our staff to work close to home and contribute to B.C.'s economy.”
“The FortisBC expansion project is creating well-paying job opportunities for people in Delta and contributing to the growth of our local economy,” said Delta Mayor Lois E. Jackson. “It is helping to grow our skilled labour force and supports additional social and economic benefits in the community.”
FortisBC operates the only two LNG facilities in British Columbia. The Tilbury LNG facility has operated safely and reliably since 1971. The Mt. Hayes facility on Vancouver Island was commissioned in 2011. The $400-million expansion at the Tilbury facility will allow FortisBC to meet the growing domestic demand for clean burning natural gas for the transportation industry and as an energy source for remote communities.
“FortisBC is proving B.C.'s LNG industry not only has the potential to create opportunities for companies and workers across the province, but that in Delta, it's already happening,” said Premier Christy Clark.
“Our LNG opportunity remains strong thanks to the industry's commitment to invest and grow the sector,” said B.C.'s Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman. “FortisBC's financial commitment today will create jobs and strengthen the economic prospects for British Columbia in the longer term.”
Construction of the storage tank started in October 2014. FortisBC expects the expanded facility will be operational by winter 2016.
Quick facts about the Tilbury LNG facility expansion:
- The original facility was built in 1971 and has been operating safely since then. Originally, it was used to supplement the Lower Mainland gas supply during periods of peak demand such as the coldest winter days.
- FortisBC began providing LNG as a fuel for use in remote communities in 1997 and as a transportation fuel in 2009.
- Heavy duty customers such as Vedder Transport Ltd., Arrow Transportation Systems Inc. and Denwill Enterprises Inc. acquire LNG from the existing Tilbury LNG facility.
- The town of Inuvik in the North West Territories is offsetting its diesel fuel utility operations using LNG transported from Tilbury.
- The expansion of the Tilbury Island LNG facility allows FortisBC to better support the province in the development of natural gas for the transportation sector, for remote communities and the marketplace. It will result in increased LNG supply for industrial users and remote communities, bringing economic development and new jobs to BC.
FortisBC is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity and propane. FortisBC employs more than 2,200 British Columbians and serves approximately 1.1 million customers in 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC owns and operates two liquefied natural gas storage facilities and four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately 7,150 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines, and approximately 46,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Inc. and FortisBC Energy Inc. do business as FortisBC. FortisBC is indirectly, wholly owned by Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American electric and gas utility business. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at fortisinc.com or sedar.com.
Media Notes: High resolution images for editorial use will be available by 2 p.m., November 16, 2015 at the following link: Fortisbc.com/tilburymedia