**UPDATE** (June 5, 2015)- Woodfibre LNG has been granted an associate membership to SIGTTO. Associate Members have all the rights of a full member except for voting rights at the Annual General Meeting. To become a full member of SIGTTO, a company must have equity interest in, or operate, an LNG carrier or terminal. If the Project is approved, and pending a final investment decision, Woodfibre LNG intends to become a full member.
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Siting of the Woodfibre LNG facility complies in every way with the Society of International Gas Tanker & Terminal Operators Ltd.’s (SIGTTO) guidance as the location of the site is not within a narrow waterway as defined by SIGTTO.
The width of Howe Sound at the proposed Woodfibre LNG terminal is 5.2 km or 17,060 feet. Even at its narrowest point, the proposed route for LNG vessels is 1.44 kms wide, and it is not considered a narrow waterway.
TERMPOL specifies a body of navigable water of width four times the vessel’s beam to be a one-way narrow channel, and seven times the beam to be a two-way narrow channel. SIGTTO specifies a body of navigable water of width five times the vessel’s beam to be a one-way narrow channel. So, for a characteristic 45 metre beam LNG carrier calling at the proposed Woodfibre LNG Terminal, this would imply a width of 180 meters for a one-way narrow channel and 315 metres for a two-way narrow channel.
The US 5th Circuit court in its judgments has specified that under Rule 9 of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) and the U.S. Inland Navigation Rules, a “narrow channel” to be 1,000 feet (305 metres) while other court judgments have considered any body of water with width less than 1,060% the beam of the vessel, which would be 488 metres to be a narrow channel.
The width of Howe Sound at the proposed Woodfibre LNG terminal is 5.2 km or 17,060 feet with nearest distance to Darrell Bay being 2.7km or 8,858 feet and 60 meters deep with no large vessel movements within 2.7 km or 8,858 feet.
SIGTTO’s guidance principles also recommend turning circles to have a minimum diameter of twice the overall length of the largest LNG carrier (i.e. 600m) and TERMPOL requires turning circle of 2.5 times the length which equates to 750 m.