Canada ap­proves $36bln LNG project, eyes Asia

Enterprise - - International News -

Canada ap­proved a mas­sive CAD$36 bil­lion ($27 bil­lion USD) 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 have op­posed the plans.

“The govern­ment ap­proved the Pacific North­west LNG project,” said En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Catherine McKenna. “As the prime min­is­ter has em­pha­sized, 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,” she said.

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 a pipe­line and two Petronas 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 six mil­lion tonnes per year, with the pos­si­bil­ity of adding a third down the road.

The pipe­line built by the op­er­a­tor Tran­sCanada must cross 900 kilo­me­tres of Bri­tish Columbia be­tween Hud­son's Hope (about 400 kilo­me­tres or 250 miles north of Prince Ge­orge), end­ing at Lelu Is­land.

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 Prime Min­is­ter 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.

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