Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Petronas LNG Go-Ahead Seen as a Good Sign for Other West Coast Projects: Experts

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Petronas LNG Go-Ahead Seen as a Good Sign for Other West Coast Projects: Experts

Article excerpt

Petronas LNG go-ahead seen as an good sign

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CALGARY - A tentative green light for a multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas project in British Columbia sets the stage for other players to follow suit, say energy industry experts.

Pacific NorthWest LNG "breaks some ground" for its peers by being the first B.C. LNG player to officially decide to go ahead, said ARC Financial vice-president Jackie Forrest.

"I view this as a good thing for the industry as a whole," she said.

"The first project is often the most difficult one. Just establishing that we can get a project up and running and what it costs and potentially build some of the infrastructure -- that will help others."

Pacific NorthWest LNG, led by Malaysia's Petronas, aims to invest some $36 billion to develop shale gas in northeastern British Columbia, ship it to the coast by pipeline, chill the gas into a liquid state and export it across the Pacific by tanker.

The consortium said Thursday it has determined the business case for moving forward is sound.

But its positive final investment decision hinges on an agreement with the B.C. government passing in the provincial legislature and Ottawa issuing an environmental approval.

"What we would hope for is that we could have construction commencing by the fourth quarter of 2015 and move the project forward from there," said Pacific NorthWest president Michael Culbert.

Construction would take around four or five years, meaning first cargoes of LNG would depart from the proposed terminal near Prince Rupert, B.C., around 2019 or 2020.

Bill Gwozd, senior vice-president at consulting firm Solomon Associates, agreed the Pacific NorthWest move sends an encouraging signal. …

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