Pacific NorthWest LNG has awarded front-end engineering and design (FEED) contracts for its proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in British Columbia to three international engineering contractors, officials said on Wednesday.
The contractors are Bechtel, a joint venture comprised of KBR and JGC Corp., and the Technip/Samsung Engineering/China Huanqiu joint venture.
Pacific NorthWest LNG is a subsidiary of Malaysias state-owned oil company Petronas and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. (Japex).
These competitive contract awards represent an important next step towards Pacific NorthWest LNG designing and constructing a world-class LNG export facility in the District of Port Edward, near Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
As part of the FEED process, and to build Canadian LNG engineering expertise, Pacific NorthWest said it plans to recruit and hire up to 30 Canadian engineers who will be temporarily embedded with the FEED contractors over the next one to two years.
"This world-class engineering and design work provides a tremendous opportunity to begin the process of creating an LNG knowledge center here in Vancouver," said Greg Kist, president of Pacific NorthWest LNG.
"Hiring Canadian engineers and placing them in companies with decades of international experience in LNG engineering will ultimately pay long-term dividends in establishing a base of Canadian LNG engineering expertise in our British Columbia operations," he added.
The FEED and engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) bid is expected to be complete by August 2014., officials said.
At the end of 2014, Pacific NorthWest LNG plans to make the final investment decision on the project. Following completion of the FEED work and awarding of the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning work, the Canadian team of engineers will be mobilized to the Pacific NorthWest LNG's Vancouver office or at the site in the Prince Rupert area.
"This is an exciting step for Pacific NorthWest LNG," said Kist.
"Not only are we moving forward in our plans to build a major LNG export facility here in British Columbia, we are developing a core of Canadian engineering expertise for a promising new segment within the Canadian energy industry. This investment in skills training will help ensure that we establish and grow our LNG capacity and operations for many years."