Updated – January 2017: In October 2016, Squamish Nation Chiefs and Council voted to select air cooling as the cooling technique Woodfibre LNG Limited will use to cool its LNG facility. Find out more: woodfibrelng.ca/squamish-nation-announces-decision-on-woodfibre-lng-plant-cooling-technology/.
Thanks for your question.
If our Project is approved and built, Woodfibre LNG Limited will use Butane and Ethane as the refrigerants instead of Propane in the liquefaction cooling process. However, a cooling system still requires air or water to remove the waste heat after the natural gas has been cooled to a liquid state at -162°C. This means we cannot run the cooling system on refrigerants alone.
As part of our early design process, we considered a number of different cooling methods including air cooling, evaporative cooling (cooling tower, wetted surface air cooler, and hybrid wet-dry wetted surface air cooler), freshwater cooling from local streams, and, seawater cooling from Howe Sound. We chose seawater cooling as our preferred method because our assessment found that it provides greater stability in production and is more energy efficient than air cooling. In addition, seawater cooling produces less environmental noise and has less visual effects than air cooling.
A summary of the results of the study on cooling mediums can be found in our Environmental Assessment Certificate application in 2.4.6 Alternative Cooling Technologies. You’ll note that it does not include costs as that is not public information at this time.
To learn more about our proposed seawater cooling system, please see our seawater cooling information sheet.