Canada ap­proves US$27b LNG project

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

GLOBAL Canada has ap­proved a mas­sive C$36 bil­lion (US$27 bil­lion) project by Malaysia’s Petronas to build a liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas pipe­line along its Pa­cific Northwest coast, tar­get­ing Asian mar­kets.

The project is the first deal by Canada’s year-old Lib­eral gov­ern­ment that goes against en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists in the name of the coun­try’s eco­nomic in­ter­ests.

En­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivists and in­dige­nous groups op­pose the plans.

“The gov­ern­ment has ap­proved the Pa­cific Northwest LNG project,” said En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Cather­ine McKenna on Septem­ber 27.

“As the prime min­is­ter has em­pha­sised, the only way to get re­sources to mar­ket in the 21st cen­tury is if it is done sus­tain­ably and re­spon­si­bly. To­day’s an­nounce­ment re­flects this com­mit­ment.”

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau has re­peat­edly said that the econ­omy and en­vi­ron­ment should be pur­sued in par­al­lel, with­out sac­ri­fic­ing one for the other.

The project in­cludes two ter­mi­nals to ship gas to Asia.

The gas ter­mi­nals are to be built on Lelu Is­land, near Prince Ru­pert on the Pa­cific coast. Each will have a ca­pac­ity of 6 mil­lion tons per year, with the pos­si­bil­ity of adding a third down the road.

The pipe­line built by the oper­a­tor Tran­sCanada must cross 900 kilo­me­tres (560 miles) of Bri­tish Columbia.

The pipe­line deal comes af­ter Petronas in late 2012 snapped up Canada’s Progress En­ergy Re­sources gas pro­ducer for $5.2 bil­lion.

En­vi­ron­men­tal groups worry the pol­lu­tion cre­ated will worsen global warm­ing.

“How can Mr Trudeau claim to be a cli­mate leader on the in­ter­na­tional stage, while ap­prov­ing this new project that will be­come the sin­gle largest source of cli­mate pol­lu­tion in the coun­try,” said Karen Ma­hon, na­tional di­rec­tor of Stand.

Mean­while, many mem­bers of Canada’s First Na­tions – in­dige­nous peo­ple whose an­ces­tors lived off the land gen­tly for thou­sands of years – are con­cerned about po­ten­tial sul­ly­ing of fish­ing waters.

The deal means heavy LNG traf­fic through a maze of is­lands where salmon is a vi­tal re­source.

The green light for the pipe­line project comes a few weeks af­ter a key meet­ing be­tween fed­eral and provin­cial gov­ern­ments to de­fine the nec­es­sary steps to re­duce car­bon emis­sions un­der last year’s Paris cli­mate agree­ment.

Canada, which has pledged to rat­ify the agree­ment, wants to im­pose a car­bon tax on the prov­inces, a de­ci­sion that does not hit ev­ery­one equally – es­pe­cially oil-pro­duc­ing Saskatchewan.

Other Cana­dian prov­inces want to keep the car­bon trad­ing mar­ket prin­ci­ple al­ready in force. –

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