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

Traffic stopped on Highway 97B due to crash

The incident took place south of Mellors Store.

Slideshow: Shuswap Stars sparkle on the dance floor

Stunning choreography raises funds for new chalet at Larch Hills

‘Listen to your gut’ urges injured skier

Mike Shaw was told he’d never walk again after an accident four years ago, but he defied the odds

Families of missing Shuswap women call for action

Birthday of missing woman Ashley Simpson remembered during rally in Yankee Flats

Nasty note on windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

Volunteers use drones in search for missing women

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

Boomer radio expands

Kelowna resident Allen Holender continues to expand his network

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

In 2014, beetle activity went from a few spots around Jasper’s townsite to rampant

VIDEO: Tragically Hip members, Alex Trebek receive Order of Canada

Newest recipients join 6,897 Canadians such as Christine Sinclair, Graham Greene and Mark Messier

AC/DC’s Malcolm Young dies at 64

‘Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many.’

Most Read