B.C. LNG is one step closer



govern­ment an­nounced in Septem­ber it was ap­prov­ing the first ma­jor liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas ex­port plant for the B.C. coast, the an­nounce­ment was sud­den and seem­ingly in­vol­un­tary. It likely was. That evening, three fed­eral min­is­ters hastily boarded flights to Van­cou­ver for a rare af­ter-hours press con­fer­ence with the B.C. Pre­mier near the air­port. Pa­cific NorthWest LNG would be the first en­ergy project ap­proved on Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau’s watch and the first size­able piece of good news for B.C.’s LNG am­bi­tions in a very long time. Still, doubts re­mained. Within hours of the an­nounce­ment, there were re­ports that Petronas, the lead actor on the $11.4-bil­lion project, was al­ready look­ing for an exit due to the project’s lengthy ap­proval process. More bad news fol­lowed for the in­dus­try with indige­nous and en­vi­ron­men­tal groups fil­ing court chal­lenges against Ot­tawa’s ap­proval on the grounds that the project did not in­volve mean­ing­ful con­sul­ta­tion with First Na­tions and would breach the govern­ment’s cli­mate com­mit­ments. Just over a month later, the com­pany be­hind the smaller WoodFi­bre LNG ex­port project north of Van­cou­ver took a pos­i­tive in­vest­ment de­ci­sion on the $1.6-bil­lion ex­port ter­mi­nal, to de­cid­edly less fan­fare. The 2.1-mil­lion­ton pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity has the sup­port of the lo­cal Squamish First Na­tion, but two nearby na­tions have voiced con­cerns about a gas pipe­line that will sup­ply the plant. If those dif­fer­ences are over­come, WoodFi­bre LNG will be the first LNG ex­port project on Canada’s west coast.

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