It’s a go.
Investors have given the green light to what will be B.C.’s first operational LNG export plant, Woodfibre LNG at Squamish.
Ottawa approved the project back in March.
Speaking in Squamish, Premier Christy Clark says Woodfibre LNG’s parent company Pacific Royal and Gas has now made a positive final investment decision.
Clark says the project will create new jobs, though admits there’s work to do before shovels hit the ground.
“We know this isn’t the end of the process though. We know there’s still work to do with First Nations, the community… But today’s decision is an important one for this community, for the workers on this site, and for our whole province,” said Clark.
That work with First Nations looms large, forming the final barrier to getting the project underway.
Squamish First Nations Chief Ian Campbell says the Woodfibre LNG project is not a done deal as far as he is concerned.
The First Nation set out 25 legally-binding conditions to protect sensitive land around the project.
Campbell says he supports the project but those conditions must be met first.
“I think that there’s definitely going to be a lot of confusion that this is a done deal and that may be the province’s opinion but it certainly isn’t the case for the Squamish Nation where we have outstanding work. A lot of the conditions certainly are stemming directly from the concerns of our membership around safety, environment, culture, spiritual connections to our homeland,” he said.
Campbell says he notified Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman earlier this week that he would not be attending the announcement.
The province and project manager Byng Giraud announced today the plant will be electricity-based in an effort to fight climate change.
That change wasn’t enough for some environmental groups, who are furious with the decision to move forward.
Activists with Squamish group My Sea to Sky collected over 9,000 signatures opposing the plan.
Tracey Saxby, co-founder of the group, says Christy Clark’s promise of local jobs shouldn’t be trusted.
“Local jobs is smoke and mirrors because Rich Coleman and Christy Clark have already signed agreements to bring in temporary foreign workers because BC doesn’t have the capacity or the skills to operate these LNG facilties at this time,” she said.
Saxby says community members are pursuing legal advice to file a class action lawsuit against the plan.
Meanwhile, saying she’s concerned that this could be the first of many LNG projects to be announced, leader of the Federal Green Party Elizabeth May says she’s surprised the project is going ahead without a comprehensive regulatory framework in place.
She says she’s also got questions about the economics of the project.
“Or the economy because the market for LNG is not good right now, there’s a large surplus globally. The price has dropped; 2011 the price of LNG was selling for twice what it is now,” she said.