B.C. presses for LNG approval after delay

Natural gas minister Rich Coleman says latest delay to Petronas-backed project at Prince Rupert must be 'overcome'

Lelu Island off Prince Rupert has been studied for two years as a site for a large-scale liquefied natural gas export terminal.

The B.C. government has sent officials to Ottawa to help work through the latest delay in the Pacific Northwest LNG project at Prince Rupert, a 90-day extension requested by the federal regulator to study fisheries impact.

Rich Coleman, B.C.’s minister for natural gas development, said Monday he hopes to “overcome the delay” in approval of the Petronas-backed liquefied natural gas project that applied for federal environmental assessment more than three years ago.

“I’m confident that any remaining questions can be answered completely and quickly,” Coleman said in a statement. “They have to be. Jobs for British Columbians should not be held by unnecessary delays.”

Coleman said the the $36 billion plant and pipeline would be the largest private investment in Canadian history, equivalent to four Site C dams, five Olympic games or 11 Port Mann bridge projects.

The much smaller Woodfibre LNG project at a former pulp mill site near Squamish received federal environmental approval last week.

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced Friday that the Woodfibre project has been found unlikely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. The project received provincial approval in October 2015 after a joint review coordinated by B.C.

The Pacific North project got a boost last week when the Lax Kwa’laams Band council reversed its opposition to a terminal at Lelu Island, notifying McKenna that it would support the plan with two conditions.

McKenna granted the extension at the request of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, which asked Pacific Northwest for more information on effects of in-water construction activities at Flora Bank, an important salmon-rearing area for the Skeena River.

Rallies and truck parades were held in Fort St. John and Fort Nelson last week to urge the federal government to approve LNG projects to provide an export market for B.C. gas.

A glut of natural gas across North America has brought drilling activity in northeastern B.C. gas fields to a near-halt, with a recent sale of drilling rights by the B.C. government attracting no sales for the first time in the industry’s 50-year history.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pacific Coastal won’t open until community is ready

The company has suspended operations until further notice

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Celebrations continue for Tsilhqot’in Nation after court victory against Taskeo Mines Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada upholds 2014 decision rejecting New Prosperity mine on May 14, 2020

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

B.C. drive-in theatre shuts down to await appeal of car limits, concession rules

Business owner Jay Daulat voluntarily closed down the theatre awaiting a health ministry decision

Most Read