Andy Calitz, CEO of the LNG Canada project, shares some of his experiences with developing an LNG export facility that will provide abundant Canadian natural gas to global markets.
After 31 years working in the energy sector, what keeps you engaged with this industry?
I find energy fascinating at so many different, relatable levels—at the family level, the national level and the corporate level. Once you see that energy is what moves the world ahead, you want to be a part of this. I consider energy to be the world’s largest industry, which makes it fascinating in terms of trends forecasting, geopolitics and trade relations. Energy is a powerhouse that fuels the world’s economy and I see trade relationships form between countries that previously had no ties—Australia to China, Russia to Japan. And it’s my hope that Canadian energy can help strengthen the bond to countries like Japan, Korea and China.
Your education and work have taken you around the world. Have you gleaned any universal truths when it comes to energy politics?
Fundamentally, I’ve learned that the common denominator, whether it’s a project in Russia or West Australia or along the Yangtze River, is that our ultimate goal is to make energy accessible and convenient to people who need it. Every house, every business needs a modern form of energy. That’s the universal truth.
Are there any lessons you’ve learned from past projects that have helped you with the LNG Canada project?
The first is to always have patience; it takes time to properly develop a project of this scale. You have to start early and you have to prove your commitment right from the beginning. The second lesson is that these projects can only happen when stakeholders want to make it happen. This project is about energy, but it’s built on relationships and we’ve built relationships before we built the project.
This is such a deeply complex project. What do you most want British Columbians to understand about it?
This is a significant industrial project—large in investment, large in scale, large in potential. That’s naturally going to introduce a lot of new unknowns and uncertainties. I’ve worked in this industry my entire career so I have the advantage of seeing first-hand what successful LNG facilities and pipelines can do. This technology works all over the world and I know we can responsibly develop and operate the facility in such a way to have a positive impact on the local communities, First Nations and the province as a whole.
You’ve been in Canada now for two years. How are you adjusting to life here?
Vancouver’s definitely become very close to my heart. It actually reminds me of growing up near Cape Town, which also has water, mountains and forests. And I enjoy cycling, so you can often find me cycling up the Sea to Sky Highway early in the mornings.