SQUAMISH, B.C. – Woodfibre LNG said Friday it is proceeding with its proposed liquefied natural gas development near Squamish, B.C., in what would be the province’s first LNG project.
The $1.6-billion development will create 650 jobs during construction and 100 operational jobs over its estimated lifespan of 25 years, Premier Christy Clark told a news conference.
“I am delighted to welcome this good news, which will undoubtedly continue to create good, sustainable, environmentally-sound, high-paying jobs for British Columbians in this region,” said Clark.
The premier has banked plenty of political capital on developing an LNG industry in the province, and the announcement comes months before a provincial election scheduled for May.
She also announced that B.C. would be offering cheaper electricity rates for Woodfibre and other LNG projects that choose to power their operations through grid electricity rather than natural gas.
Byng Giraud, Woodfibre LNG’s country manager, said that prompted the board of directors of Singapore-based Pacific Oil and Gas, the parent company of Woodfibre LNG, to sign off on the project.
“We commit today to build this project, a project that is right for Squamish and right for B.C,” he said.
Chief Ian Campbell of the Squamish Nation did not attend the ceremony, saying it is too early to celebrate because the environmental conditions set out by the Squamish Nation have yet to be met.
“The Squamish Nation set out its 25 conditions to specifically protect sensitive land and marine habitats — in and around the proposed project site,” Campbell said in a statement, adding that he has worked hard with the company to resolve those concerns
“Only when all those conditions have been resolved will we sign the deal.”
Woodfibre LNG is licensed to export about 2.1 million tonnes of LNG annually.
There are approximately 20 LNG proposals in B.C. on the drawing board.
Pacific Northwest LNG, which is much larger than the Woodfibre LNG project, recently secured federal sanctioning and is now being reviewed by Malaysia’s state-owned company Petronas for final approval.