Ottawa Citizen

$40B LNG Canada signals revival of mega projects


The $40-billion LNG Canada project is already facing opposition from environmen­talists in B.C., but the business community and First Nations supporting the project cheered its positive final investment decision on Tuesday.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc. and joint-venture partners Petroliam Nasional Bhd., PetroChina Co. Ltd., Mitsubishi Corp. and Korea Gas Corp. announced they would fund the $40-billion LNG mega-project in Kitimat, B.C., on Tuesday with constructi­on beginning immediatel­y.

The first phase of the project includes a $6.2-billion natural gas pipeline through northern B.C. and an $18-billion liquefacti­on facility in Kitimat, B.C., where the natural gas will be super-cooled until it reaches a liquid state for transport to Asian markets.

“We are within 10 days shipping of Tokyo or Shanghai,” said Maarten Wetselaar, director of integrated gas and new energies at Royal Dutch Shell, of the reasoning for proceeding with the investment, less than half the Gulf Coast projects’ shipping times of 24 days to Asia.

Wetselaar said global demand for LNG has grown nine per cent in the last year alone and the LNG the project will produce is half as emissionin­tensive as coal.

“It seems that mega-projects are back,” said Dulles Wang, director of North America gas at Wood Mackenzie.

A second phase of the project could follow in 2023 after the first part of the liquefacti­on facility is up and running.

“Today’s announceme­nt by LNG Canada represents the single largest private sector investment in the history of Canada,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday at the announceme­nt in Vancouver.

The news was cheered by the energy industry and decried by the B.C. Green Party, which is part of the coalition supporting the NDP government.

“Adding such a massive new source of GhGs means that the rest of our economy will have to make even more sacrifices to meet our climate targets,” B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver said in a release.

But LNG Canada has won wide support from Indigenous communitie­s and government officials in B.C. .

“This is a spectacula­r day for all British Columbians,” B.C. Premier John Horgan said.

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