"We are creating new and exciting opportunities by diversifying our natural gas sector, strengthening job prospects for British Columbians and opening the door to new clean energy projects. My government is
positioning liquefied natural gas as a cornerstone of British Columbia's long-term economic success," said Premier Clark.
At least two LNG facilities are expected to be up and running in Kitimat by 2015. Minister of Energy and Mines Rich Coleman explains that the hurry is to get ahead of other countries looking to export LNG.
"British Columbia is in a foot race with countries such as Australia, Qatar and the United States who are interested in exporting LNG, so we are moving quickly," adding, "Our plans are designed to ensure B.C. accelerates the pace of development so we can secure new contracts and seize investment while such lucrative opportunities are available."
Part of the province's plan includes changes to its self-sufficiency policy, established five years ago by former premier Gordon Campbell. He resolved that B.C. should be generating enough hydro power to fully supply the province in a drought year by 2016.
The new LNG plants will be clean-energy-fuelled, which requires a large amount of hydro power. Therefore, that self-sufficiency policy has been relaxed, and the province will now only require enough power for an average water year, buying more if needed.
"Again, B.C. is demonstrating climate leadership with the world's first clean-energy-fuelled liquid natural gas plants," said Minister of Environment Terry Lake. "These two LNG plants will provide Asia with a cleaner alternative for its immediate energy needs as B.C. natural gas displaces more carbon-intensive fuels like coal and diesel. Our abundant natural gas is a bridging fuel that will contribute to global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, as we move into the future of clean, greener energy alternatives."
Development of LNG is expected to produce about $20 billion in new private sector investment, which will create 800 new long term jobs in LNG facilities, and up to 9,000 during their construction phases. The Premier also says the Province will be promoting the use of B.C.'s natural gas in transportation fleets such as ferries and heavy duty trucks.