Coleman says patience a virtue in wait for LNG project approvals

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VICTORIA, B.C. – Deputy Premier and Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman still believes in the long-term prospects for exporting liquefied natural gas from B.C., saying that patience is a virtue during a slump in the industry.

The proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG project, back by the Malaysian state-owned Petronas, will be closely watched in the coming year.

According to an article in The Globe and Mail, Coleman said based on his discussions with Petronas management, a final investment decision on the project will be made in the summer of 2017. Assuming Pacific NorthWest LNG sticks to its timetable, the announcement could potentially be made just  three months after the next provincial election is held on May 9, 2017.

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Premier Christy Clark’s B.C. Liberals campaigned hard on expectations that LNG would provide a boom for the economy in the previous provincial election, but have since played down those expectations after global supply of LNG mushroomed in the past year.

Pacific NorthWest LNG executives have budgeted $11.4-billion to construct an export terminal on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert.

Spencer Sproule, Pacific NorthWest LNG’s senior adviser of corporate affairs, said a the company’s ongoing review will stretch into 2017.

British Columbia has only one project slated to begin exporting LNG in the next four years, falling short of forecasts from the provincial Liberals that there would be three export terminals in B.C. by the end of 2020.

Woodfibre LNG, privately owned by Singapore-based RGE Pte. Ltd., is scheduled to begin construction in 2017. Woodfibre LNG is a small-scale venture with capital costs estimated at $1.6-billion that will be located on the site of a now-closed pulp mill near Squamish.

The B.C. Liberal government is hoping that it is not a matter of if, but when, major projects finally forge ahead, notably Pacific NorthWest LNG and the Shell-led LNG Canada.

In July, LNG Canada delayed its decision on whether to proceed with its plans in Kitimat, and has yet to announce a revised timeline.


Story courtesy The Globe and Mail:

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