Petronas to Advance Canada LNG Project

Petronas to Advance Canada LNG Project

A Petroliam Nasional Bhd.-led group of companies decided to proceed with a C$36 billion ($29 billion) natural gas shipping project on Canada’s Pacific Coast, subject to government approvals, Bloomberg reported.
The liquefied natural gas project still needs British Columbia lawmakers to endorse a deal on royalties and taxes that the government signed with Pacific NorthWest LNG, the developer. It also needs to pass a federal environmental review, the venture said in a statement. “We are continuing to move forward,” Michael Culbert, president of Pacific NorthWest, said in a phone interview. “This is really a positive step and a positive signal.”
The export terminal proposed by Petronas, as the state-run Malaysian company is known, is among 19 under consideration in British Columbia to ship western Canadian gas to growing energy markets in Asia. It’s been about six months since the venture deferred a final decision to proceed, citing rising costs and energy market volatility from the oil-price collapse. “Petronas and the partners of Pacific NorthWest are now in a position to support the commercial aspects of the project and move it forward,” Culbert said.

In a setback for the project last month, the Lax Kw’alaams band, a British Columbia aboriginal community that claims title to the LNG terminal site on Lelu Island, rejected almost $1 billion in compensation from Pacific NorthWest because of environmental concerns. The community can’t support the project because of the disruption that the development would cause to salmon habitats near the terminal, said Stan Dennis, the deputy mayor. The 3,600-member group also opposes the facility’s location because Lelu Island is culturally significant, he said. “If things keep going the way they’re going and they try to railroad us, so to speak, we’ll see them in court,” Dennis said.  Culbert added he is committed to hold a dialog with affected communities, including the Lax Kw’alaams. “Can we come to terms?,” he said, adding: “The only way you can do that is to continue to talk and continue to work with the First Nations and the other stakeholders in the region.”


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