Under Sukanto Tanoto, Woodfibre LNG Creates Great Benefits for the Community.

Sukanto Tanoto has never been one to rest on his laurels. The self-made man, who struck it out on his own following the death of his father when he was seventeen, is a bona fide success story. Starting out in the spare parts industry, the eagle-eyed opportunist jumped into the plywood manufacturing industry during Indonesia’s shift into value-added processing. He hasn’t looked back since, and today he is chairman of RGE, which manages companies such as APRIL, Sateri, Pacific Oil and Gas. Unsurprisingly, he has been dubbed the ‘Resource King’ by GlobeAsiaSukanto Tanoto’s companies are all major players within pulp and paper, palm oil, viscose rayon, and LNG industries.

Changing with the times, but not our values

With the world moving towards consuming more renewable sources of energy, Sukanto Tanoto’s newest venture capitalises upon this expected demand. Woodfibre LNG, subsidiary of Pacific Oil and Gas, recently entered a partnership with China-based Guangzhou Gas Group to build a 2 million tonne per year LNG terminal by 2020.

Under Sukanto Tanoto, Woodfibre LNG Creates Great Benefits for the Community.

Growing in Canada, with the community

The Guangzhou company first agreed in 2016 to buy 1 million tonnes of LNG annually for 25 years from Woodfibre LNG’s facility  –expected to be complete by 2020 – in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. The Woodfibre project, considered an underdog amongst the other bids for the project in Canada, has received significant support from both the government and people, and it is easy to understand why.

Sukanto Tanoto’s strong commitment to the community is distilled into his 4Cs philosophy: creating good for the Community, Country, Climate, and Company. It is a philosophy that has ensured all his companies act in the same manner, to always consider the welfare of the community first. Not only does the Woodfibre LNG Project ensure the sustainable production of quality, renewable energy, the project is expected to provide a substantial boost to the local job market. Almost 1,800 jobs are expected to be created during the construction process, with a further 450 jobs for when operations begin. These jobs, Woodfibre LNG have promised, will be filled locally as far as possible –a testament to the company’s commitment to leaving any community it interacts with better than before their arrival.

Woodfibre LNG Explores Clean Energy

Always looking out for new ideas, new industry and new market to enter into, Sukanto Tanoto has done an intensive research on natural gas and their potential as a clean alternate energy in the future. This project is also strongly supported by his eldest daughter, Imelda Tanoto, who is heavily involved in the whole process from planning to execution. Read here for more information.

Natural gas is increasingly in demand, throughout the developed world and in emerging economies, as an affordable and “clean” source of energy. With production up by more than one-third in the United States compared to a decade ago, natural gas offers attractive options for energy companies and consumers alike. When burned as fuel, natural gas produces only about half the carbon dioxide emitted by coal-powered plants, which makes it popular with many environmentalists. Moreover, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, natural gas emits less than one-third the amount of nitrous oxides and about 1 percent the amount of sulfur dioxides as coal. The burning of natural gas also requires a minimal amount of water and does not create any significant concerns regarding disposal of solid waste.

Woodfibre LNG, an arm of the RGE Group’s Pacific Oil & Gas company, is currently working to open an operations plant to liquefy natural gas and export it from western Canada. RGE, directed by founder and CEO Sukanto Tanoto of Indonesia, hopes to make Woodfibre a leading player in the growing international market for natural gas products. In 2014, Woodfibre executives, led by Imelda Tanoto, Mr. Tanoto’s daughter, signed a letter of intent with the government of British Columbia (Premier Christy Clark) to explore options that would benefit both parties as well as the people of the province.

In addition, the 13 million vehicles worldwide currently powered by natural gas produce approximately 30 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than those that run on traditional gas and diesel sources. Depending on conditions in local markets, natural gas can be significantly cheaper than other fuel sources, which makes it a good choice for developing economies.

Woodfibre’s proposed Canadian export station would re-purpose a now-unused Vancouver-area pulp mill, located on land with an existing industrial pipeline infrastructure and electrical grid, all of which stand to minimize the impact that constructing an entirely new facility could produce.

Imelda Tanoto Leads Woodfibre LNG’s Canadian Natural Gas Project

As an entrepreneur, Sukanto Tanoto’s entrepreneurial spirit has been passed down to his children as well. Imelda Tanoto, Sukanto Tanoto‘s eldest daughter, has been involved in the business operations for the past 7 years. During these 7 years, she has been exposed to different functions of the organization. Given the influence from her father since young, Imelda Tanoto is continuously finding ways to expand the business. When opportunity in Canada arises, Imelda Tanoto decided to take the calculated risk and went on with the investment in LNG market in Canada.

Imelda Tanoto signed Letter of Intent with British Columbia Premier, Christy Clark.
Imelda Tanoto signed Letter of Intent with British Columbia Premier, Christy Clark.

Currently she oversees her family’s investments in Canadian natural gas supplies through Woodfibre LNG. The company, with the backing of the $15 billion RGE Group headed by Mr. Tanoto, recently signed a letter of intent with the government of British Columbia. The letter outlined the parties’ common goal of directing supplies of liquid natural gas from Canada to Asia by the early part of 2017. As lead director of Woodfibre LNG, Imelda Tanoto participated as a signatory to the document, along with British Columbia’s premier, Christy Clark, during a trade mission. Other international companies, including Royal Dutch Shell and the Malaysian state company Petronas, are also engaged in exploring liquid natural gas exports from western Canada.

Canada, which is ranked fourth among nations worldwide in the amount of natural gas exported, currently serves a largely U.S. market. However, due to Canada’s vast reserves of shale – from which liquid natural gas is derived – in the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, and a strong upward trend in demand from Asian markets for LNG supplies, the partnership between Woodfibre LNG and Canada is expected to be a good fit. Canada currently lacks the kind of infrastructure that would support its expansion into the Asian sector. However, Woodfibre LNG is proposing the construction of a new facility for processing natural gas, as well as Canada’s first-ever terminal for exporting natural gas abroad.

Under the direction of Imelda Tanoto, the Canadian facilities would be built on the site of an unused pulp mill in an industrial area in the town of Squamish, British Columbia, located about 40 miles from Vancouver. The region is home to needed features such as a deepwater port, a preexisting pipeline, and an electrical power infrastructure. The $2 billion facilities would be set to export a little more than 2 million metric tons of LNG annually.