WCC LNG Safety

WCC LNG will leverage the extensive experience of both ExxonMobil and Imperial Oil to develop the project in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

The WCC LNG terminal will employ numerous redundant safety systems, including marine exclusion zones, multiple emergency detectors and emergency shutdown systems, coupled with highly trained operators.
WCC LNG is evaluating potential impacts associated with marine safety as we move through the environmental assessment process and mitigation measures will be identified. WCC LNG will request a voluntary “Technical Review Process of Marine Terminal Systems and Transshipment Sites” (TERMPOL). The TERMPOL process is conducted by a government review committee, supported by inputs from local marine users, to evaluate and mitigate marine safety risks.

WCC LNG will apply a combination of proven industry and regulatory safeguards to minimize potential risk to marine safety, including:

  • Safe travel speeds for LNG carriers along existing commercial shipping lanes under the pilotage of licensed BC pilots;
  • Two escort tugs, at least one of which will be tethered, to support the LNG carrier starting just west of the Kinahan Islands. Two additional tugs are planned to be utilized in Prince Rupert Harbour to provide additional assistance;
  • LNG carriers protected by a double hull and interior LNG cargo tanks to minimize the risk of loss of containment of LNG over water;
  • Marine crews that have undergone extensive training in ship safety procedures and emergency incident response; and
  • Collaboration with regulators and local marine users to help the Prince Rupert Port Authority define marine exclusion zones near the LNG carrier berth.


A history of safety

The LNG industry has a 50-year history of safely transporting and processing LNG around the world, which includes regular transportation near urban areas.  This performance has been achieved through proven engineering design and containment systems, international regulations, safe operational procedures and training programs.


The Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO) is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and promoting safe and reliable operation of its members’ gas tankers and terminals within a sound environment. The society has more than 200 members who own or operate more than 95 percent of the world’s LNG tankers and terminals and more than 50 percent of the world’s liquefied petroleum gas tankers and terminals.

Exxon Mobil Corp. is an active member of SIGTTO, and contributes to, recognizes, and duly considers best practices from SIGTTO. SIGTTO does not define numeric or spatial distances related to safety exclusion or hazard zones. SIGTTO focuses on design considerations that reduce risks. SIGTTO recognizes that risk analysis and risk reduction measures for a particular LNG operation should address site specific considerations, and best practices cannot be collectively applied to fit every scenario.

Navigation simulations

In late 2014, the WCC LNG project completed a successful navigation simulation of LNG carrier transit through the Prince Rupert harbour to and from Tuck Inlet. WCC LNG collaborated with both the Prince Rupert Port Authority and the Pacific Pilotage Authority to create the simulation. BC marine pilots with experience in Prince Rupert waters were also involved. The detailed simulator used real bathymetry and simulations were conducted in various weather conditions. Three sizes of LNG carriers were simulated using four local tugs. Each carrier transited safely and completed the turn circle in Tuck Inlet adequately in all conditions, and with little challenge. The tugs safely managed several simulated emergency conditions including:

  • ship steering failure (rudder lock)
  • sudden loss of a ship’s propulsion
  • loss of critical tug during challenging berthing maneuver
  • undocking a dead ship
  • Based on these outcomes, we are confident LNG carrier transit can be done safely, with minimal impact to ongoing activities in the harbour.–Captain Jaeson Coelho, Nautical Advisor Marine Systems & Operations, ExxonMobil

  • Since the first LNG commercial deliveries in 1964, close to 80,000 cargoes have been delivered by LNG companies throughout the world without major safety incident.–International Group of LNG Importers, 2014