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The developer of a floating liquefied natural-gas export facility proposed for Vancouver Island says it has a deal with a South Korean shipbuilder for the design of two large at-shore hulls.

Steelhead LNG and partner Huu-ay-aht First Nations say the agreement was signed at the Gastech Conference in Barcelona with Hyundai Heavy Industries to engineer and design the equipment for the Kwispaa LNG Project.

The LNG export project, which features floating production and storage units, is proposed to be built at Sarita Bay off land owned by the Huu-ay-aht First Nations, with a final investment decision scheduled for 2020 and the first 12-million-tonnes-a-year phase to be operational in 2024.

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Three companies have been invited to bid to engineer and construct the project’s topsides, marine facilities, pretreatment and onshore plant facilities.

The design work under both contracts is expected to start next year.

The hulls are expected to cost about US$500-million to build. Each is set to be 340 metres long and 60 metres wide and feature five individual tanks that provide 280,000 cubic metres of LNG storage.

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