Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Malaysia-Led Group Gives Conditional Approval for B.C. LNG Project

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Malaysia-Led Group Gives Conditional Approval for B.C. LNG Project

Article excerpt

B.C. LNG project gets conditional approval

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VANCOUVER - A Malaysia-led consortium has become the first in British Columbia to announce conditional approval of a liquefied natural gas project, a major step forward for the Liberal government as it stakes its future on development of the industry.

Pacific NorthWest LNG, which is controlled by Malaysian energy giant Petronas, said Thursday it will confirm a final investment decision on the $36-billion project in northwest B.C. subject to two conditions.

The first condition is approval of the project development agreement by the provincial legislature, while the second condition is a positive environmental assessment by the federal government.

"In parallel with work to support the final investment decision, Pacific NorthWest LNG will continue constructive engagement with area First Nations, local communities, stakeholders and regulators," said president Michael Culbert in a statement.

"The integrated project is poised to create thousands of construction and operational careers in the midst of the current energy sector slowdown."

The consortium is proposing to build an LNG export facility at Lelu Island near Prince Rupert, B.C., which would represent the largest capital investment in the province's history.

In May, the Lax Kw'alaams First Nation rejected a natural gas benefit offer worth $1.15 billion, citing environmental threats to the salmon-rich Skeena River.

Natural gas development minister Rich Coleman applauded the announcement, but acknowledged the province still had work to do, including engagement with First Nations. …

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