The minister responsible for liquefied natural gas in B.C. says a final investment decision on the proposed Pacific Northwest LNG facility in Prince Rupert could happen this spring.
Rich Coleman says the project is in the public feedback stage.
“The public have 30 days to comment. Then it has to then go to either the minister who makes a decision or it goes to federal cabinet for a decision, which would probably be somewhere around the end of March, which lines up with everyone’s timeline.”
A Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency report found the project didn’t pose a danger to salmon.
But the report also found the facility would have significant adverse effects on harbour porpoises and in producing greenhouse gas emissions.
Coleman says this is not bad news.
“When I had the conversations about greenhouse gas emmissions with the federal government on the upstream, it is new that they are bringing this to the table, all I asked them was to please measure us according to what everyone else is at and you will find out that we are already lower than everybody else that does this in North America.”
Coleman says LNG facilities will be hooked up to the power grid to lower emissions in order to become the cleanest LNG industry in the world.
Coleman was asked about critics who aren’t buying into the clean LNG line.
“There is no shortage of experts and people that people who criticize what we are trying to do. We just keep proving them wrong and we will continue to do that. You can’t have growth and jobs and opportunities within any jurisdiction without some GHG impacts. You have to do it environmentally sound. You have to set your standards and beat world standards so plants in British Columbia will be significantly lower than any LNG plant in the world.”
This comes as Shell has delayed a final investment decision in its LNG Canada proposal until the end of the year.
Economic conditions including tanking oil prices are sideswiping big energy companies and driving down the price of natural gas.
The spot price of LNG in Asian markets is less than a quarter of what it was a few years ago even as global LNG production climbs with countries like the USA entering the market even as B.C. still sits on the launching pad.