Shell building new natural gas plant in Sarnia

Ships like this one which Shell plans to use in the Gulf of Mexico to support its oil operation will soon be powered by natural gas. Shell's Corunna site will be expanded to help produce the fuel for the North American market- submitted photo

Ships like this one which Shell plans to use in the Gulf of Mexico to support its oil operation will soon be powered by natural gas. Shell’s Corunna site will be expanded to help produce the fuel for the North American market
– submitted photo

Shell Canada is moving ahead with plans to build a natural gas unit in Sarnia, hoping to change the fuel transports and ships use.

In June, Shell revealed it was considering the move as the price of gasoline continued to climb. With diesel fuel priced between $1.25 and $1.30 per litre, Shell says there are significant savings to be had using 70 cent a litre natural gas.

The conversion of transports and marine ships would also have an environmental impact, reducing their air emissions by 20 percent.

The company announced today it will build two units – one in Sarnia, one in Louisiana – to created liquefied natural gas. The plants will take natural gas and turn them into a fuel which can be used for transports or ships.

Shell officials say the Interlake Steamship Company is beginning to convert its large vessels to natural gas now and the company is expected to be Shell’s first customer once the plant is on line – likely in three years.

Officials aren’t saying at this point if new permanent jobs will be created at the liquefied natural gas plant – which will be on the Shell Corunna site – but upwards of 150 construction jobs are expected to be created.

Shell Canada is still working on getting regulatory approval for the Corunna plant.

– Heather Wright

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