Canada’s Enbridge has agreed to invest $1.5bn in a joint project to build and operate the $5.1bn Woodfibre LNG project with Pacific Energy.

The move comes amid a surge in North American liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to Europe, which is seeking alternate supplies for Russian gas in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Under the deal, Enbridge will invest $1.5bn for a 30% stake in the project, which is scheduled for completion in 2027. Pacific Energy will retain the remaining stake in the LNG export facility.

The project will also include the expansion of FortisBC Energy’s Eagle Mountain to Woodfibre pipeline.

The pipeline will connect the export facility to Enbridge’s T-South natural gas transmission system, which will carry production from Montney, British Columbia (BC).

Enbridge business development director Jason Kearns was quoted by Reuters as saying: “This one’s very close to existing assets in a jurisdiction that we’re very familiar with, and at a scale that makes sense for us as a first foray into this space.”

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Planned to be built in Squamish, BC, the Woodfibre LNG facility will have an export capacity of 2.1Mtpa and a 250,000m³ floating storage capacity.

Enbridge president and CEO Al Monaco said: “This facility will provide global LNG markets with a safe, secure, and sustainable source of BC natural gas, through a long-term transportation agreement on our T-South pipeline system.

“Expanding global access to natural gas through LNG will play a critical role in North America’s energy future and will help to reduce the world’s greenhouse gas emissions through the displacement of coal-fired power generation, creating strong alignment with our ESG goals.”