July 10, 2014 3:25 pm

Is LNG really the future of B.C.?

WATCH ABOVE:  A new report suggests B.C. needs to move quickly or else the province could miss the boat on LNG. Jas Johal has the details.

VANCOUVER – A new report is raising some serious concerns about the future of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in B.C.

The report by The University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy points to a number of issues, such as competition with the United States and a lack of regulatory and policy coordination.

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As supply for LNG grows, the prices are going to drop, and the report says the western United States and even Mexico want to get in the LNG game.

The authors say they have advice on how Canada and B.C. can try to be competitive in LNG but say it won’t be easy and time is running out. They suggest the first plant should be built by 2018 in order for the province to stay competitive.

Just this week Vancouver-based Steelhead LNG and the Huu-ay-aht First Nations signed a deal to look at bringing an LNG export project to Vancouver Island, but that was just the first step of many to actually building a plant.

Premier Christy Clark has said that LNG could transform into a more-than-$100-billion fund for the province, which would erase our debt by the end of the 2020s.

But the authors of the report are not so optimistic.

“Right now I would say that’s not very realistic,” says Michael Moore, University of Calgary School of Public Policy. “Not because, if you could get everything built and shipping the gas, you couldn’t achieve those kinds of volumes. Over time, we just don’t think that those kinds of volumes are going to be available. Given the competition, given the time it takes to actually construct the facilities, and frankly given some of the political discord that is facing the companies who are trying to invest and make this happen.”

A final investment decision by one of the proponents is expected late this year or early next year, but if this report is any indication, they are going to have to move faster if the LNG industry in B.C. is to move forward.

 

 

© Shaw Media, 2014

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