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

Gitxsan forming cross-sector salmon management team

Nation again declares closure of fishery in territory for 2019

Editorial: The Speaker shouldn’t be an MLA

Time to re-evaluate the Speaker position

Column: condition of cows after winter feeding

The protein content of winter feed is important, says rancher David Zirnhelt

Concept designs for Vanderhoof’s new CNC campus unveiled

Community was invited to provide feedback at a public engagement session Dec. 6

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

VIDEO: This B.C. school leads country in vaccine donations to UNICEF

Federally funded Kids Boost Immunity uses quizzes to earn vaccinations

Boeser scores 3, Pettersson has 5 points as Canucks hammer Blues

Vancouver picks up impressive 6-1 win in St. Louis

B.C. police stop drunk driver who offered up burger instead of ID

Roadblock checks over the weekend found at least two other impaired drivers

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Small quake recorded west of Vancouver Island

No injuries or tsunami warning after 5.4 rumble felt some 400 kilometres from Victoria

B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of U.S. in Vancouver

Canadians spent $1.7 billion dollars online in December 2017

Online retail sales accounted for 3.4 per cent of total retail sales

2-year investigations nets $900,000 in refunds for payday loan customers

Consumer Protection BC says selling practices were ‘aggressive and deceptive’

China: Canada’s detention of Huawei exec ‘vile in nature’

Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet company

Most Read