Petronas announces final investment decision for Pacific Northwest LNG project

WATCH: The Pacific Northwest LNG project is a step closer to reality tonight. Aaron McArthur talks to Keith Baldrey and Minister of Energy and Mines Rich Coleman about what it means.

A major LNG project is one step closer to fruition in B.C.

Pacific Northwest LNG, a consortium led by Malaysian energy giant Petronas, announced conditional approval for a potential $36-billion dollar terminal in northeast British Columbia.

It says it will confirm a final investment decision on the project – with two conditions.

LNG 101: Where the LNG industry currently is at in British Columbia

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The first condition is approval of the project development agreement by the B.C. legislature, while the second condition is a positive environmental assessment by the federal government.

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Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman has previously indicated the legislature will be brought back this summer to approve the agreement, while the environmental assessment report is expected this fall.

The project would see an LNG export facility built at Lelu Island near Prince Rupert, representing the largest captial investment in the province’s history.

A 900 kilometre natural gas pipeline, which has yet to be built by TransCanada, would deliver natural gas from near Hudson’s Hope to the plant.

The government has publicly championed the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, and it has long been seen as the furthest along of the major LNG proposals in the North Coast.

However, it still needs approval of the Lax Kw’alaams Band, which rejected a $1.15 billion offer last month.

“In parallel with work to support the Final Investment Decision, Pacific NorthWest LNG will continue constructive engagement with area First Nations, local communities, stakeholders and regulators,” said Michael Culbert, President of Pacific NorthWest LNG in a statement. “The integrated project is poised to create thousands of construction and operational careers in the midst of the current energy sector slowdown.”

He says the project is poised to create thousands of construction and operational careers amid the current energy sector slowdown.

– With files from The Canadian Press


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