The federal government announced that it has conditionally approved the Pacific NorthWest liquefied natural gas facility project in British Columbia.
In the announcement, environment minister Catherine McKenna said the approval was based on exhaustive studies of the project’s environmental impact and consultations with First Nations stakeholders.
Giant Gas Facility Project
If the project proceeds, it will create one of Canada’s largest energy resource facilities. It is being put forward by Malaysian energy company Petronas. The facility would transport LNG from B.C.’s northeast via a TransCanada pipeline to a terminal on the coast, where it would be exported to Asian markets.
Petronas says the project would involve $36 billion in investment and would generate $2.5 billion in tax revenue annually. The firm also asserts that the facility would create 330 permanent jobs and up to 4,000 jobs during its construction.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark asserts that the project would be the largest private sector investment in Canadian history.
The government’s decision is subject to 190 legally binding conditions. These address concerns as diverse as human health, fish and fish habitat, marine mammals, wetland management, migratory birds and heritage sites. They also stipulate long-term environmental monitoring for the proposed facility.
Petronas Proceeding with Caution
Petronas, which has indicated previously that it would move forward with the project if it obtained federal approval, is now evaluating its viability in light of the depressed LNG market. The company says it will carefully review the project’s economics before making a final decision.
NorthWest LNG president Adnan Zainal Abidin announced that he welcome the approval as a significant milestone, but made no comments as to the fate of the facility. “Moving forward, Pacific NorthWest LNG and our shareholders will conduct a total project review over the coming months prior to announcing next steps for the project,” he said.
To hear more about the announcement, read this article from the CBC.
To learn more about the gas facility project, read its description on the NorthWest LNG website.