Dr. Marvin Shaffer in Vancouver Sun: BC Will Lose Millions on LNG


Read this essential op-ed from SFU’s Marvin Shaffer in the Vancouver Sun, exposing the real cost to British Columbians of a heavily subsidized liquid natural gas boom on BC North Coast.

“A striking feature of the government’s jobs strategy is the number of
very electric-intensive projects it entails. The strategy calls for the
development of new mines and liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities,
all of which will require very large amounts of electricity.

first phase of the proposed LNG plant at Kitimat in itself will
reportedly consume some 1.5 million megawatt hours of electricity per
year, or roughly one-third of the entire output of the proposed Site C
dam project.

Media commentators have questioned whether BC Hydro
will be able to supply these large new requirements for electricity.
Some worry that it will not be able to do so because of the capital
spending and other constraints that were recommended in the government’s
recent review of BC Hydro’s rapidly rising costs and rates.

the real issue here is not whether BC Hydro can supply the electricity
these projects will need. It no doubt could by acquiring or developing
new sources of electricity supply. The issue is whether, or at least
under what circumstances, it should.

One thing is certain. It will
be very bad for BC Hydro and consequently all of its existing customers
if it does supply electricity to the new mines and LNG facilities at
its standard industrial rate. Under that rate, which averages less than
$40 per megawatt hour, the amount BC Hydro would receive would be less
than half the costs it would incur for the new sources of supply it
would have to acquire.” (October 205, 2011)