Kitimat has the LNG Canada plant underway, but neighbouring, land-rich Terrace is preparing to act as the staging area for the largest private resource project in Canadian history.
“We have the land,” said Danielle Myles, manager of economic development for the City of Terrace, which has a population of 13,000 and a footprint of 74 square kilometres.
A key parcel is the 1,187 acres of industrial-zoned land bought four years ago by China-based Qinhuangdao Economic and Technological Development Zone (QETDZ) for $11.8 million.
The land is in the city’s massive Skeena Industrial Development Park, which until recently was a forest. QETDZ has cleared nearly 800 acres of land for development as part of its $100 million preparation budget.
Myles expects Terrace will be the storage and transit depot site for much of the construction work on the $14 billion LNG export facility in Kitimat, which is a half-hour drive away. It could also be a western pivot for materials and contractors serving construction of the natural gas pipelines running into LNG Canada’s terminal from Dawson Creek and Fort St. John in the northeast.
Terrace, unlike Kitimat, has an airport and an established and extensive retail sector, fitting a city that is known as the trading centre for Northwest B.C. An idea of the momentum can be found in total building permits in Terrace, which have soared at least 300% over the past two years, Myles noted.