BC bill advances Pacific Northwest LNG

The British Columbia legislature has passed a controversial bill enabling the proposed Pacific Northwest LNG export project to advance (OGJ Online, Mar. 17, 2014).

Meeting in a special session, lawmakers approved the Liquefied Natural Gas Projects Agreement Act, which allows the government to enter a project agreement with the $36-billion Pacific Northwest venture.

Led by Petronas of Malaysia, the group has partners from China, India, Japan, and Brunei. It proposes to build two liquefaction trains initially on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert with capacities of 6 million tonnes/year each.

In June, Pacific Northwest said it would proceed with the project if the legislature ratified the project-development agreement and if the project received federal environmental approval.

At least 17 other LNG export projects are in less-advanced stages of planning for the BC coast.

Liberal BC Premier Christy Clark strongly supported the LNG legislation, which faced opposition from environmentalists, First Nations groups, and lawmakers arguing against assurances granted LNG project sponsors.

The legislation commits the province to compensate the project group if future governments raise income taxes on LNG operations, target the industry with carbon taxes, cut gas tax credits, or change rules on greenhouse gas emissions that financially hurt the industry.

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