Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman sees a potential start of construction on B.C.'s first big LNG plant by the end of this year.

Petronas tentatively commits to Pacific Northwest LNG plant

$11-billion project still seeks environmental, provincial approvals, aboriginal consent

The Pacific Northwest LNG plant proposed near Prince Rupert now has preliminary investment approval from its proponents, prompting confidence from Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman that the massive project could be under construction by the end of this year.

The consortium led by Malaysian firm Petronas confirmed it’s ready to proceed and the only conditions for a final investment decision are federal environmental review approval and B.C. government approval of the project development agreement.

The Legislature is expected to be recalled this summer to pass the deal providing tax and royalty certainty clearing the way for an expected $11-billion investment.

“It would only be derailed, I suppose, if there was something in the environmental  assessment that makes the project impossible,” Coleman told reporters Friday.

He said a construction start is possible late this year that would see the first LNG shipments moving by the end of 2019.

The outlook for LNG prices has darkened recently but Coleman said Petronas and its Asian partners have long-term contracts to sell the first 12 million tonnes of LNG.

“This product is basically sold. They have the commercial viability on this one.”

Another problem for the project is aboriginal acceptance.

The Lax Kw’alaams First Nation recently voted down a $1-billion cash offer from Petronas.

More project design work and research is underway to address aboriginal concerns about the potential impact on salmon habitat at Flora Bank near the project site, Coleman said.

“I think I see a sight line where we can satisfy the community,” he said. “I think as we come through that you’ll see that the Lax Kw’alaams will come together with every other first nation that’s already endorsed the project in the area.”

He described the opportunity as one of “generational change” for small first nations.

The federal environmental review has been paused while more information on potential habitat risks was sought.  A final decision is considered possible by fall.

LNG tankers like this one could be loading near Prince Rupert by the end of 2019 if Pacific Northwest LNG begins construction by the end of this year.  File photo.

 

 

Just Posted

Houston senior brings home gold medal

Golfer Andy Grobins wins gold at the 55+ BC Games

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Smithers couple wins $1 million

Smithers resident Brenda Graf went to Safeway to pick up some groceries… Continue reading

Houston aims to improve emergency response

The district only has two emergency support services personnel

Smithers guide attacked by grizzly bear

The incident was deemed a “defensive attack” by conservation officers

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started weedmama.ca to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

B.C. teen gives away tickets to Ellen Degeneres show, plans O Canada welcome

The Grade 9 student wanted to give away tickets in the spirit of inclusivity

Most Read