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B.C. lawmakers to debate LNG project agreement

JOC News Service
B.C. lawmakers to debate LNG project agreement

The B.C. government announced that it intends to recall the legislature July 13 to debate legislation that would nearly push a $36 billion LNG project to a final investment decision.

The legislation would approve the project agreement signed between the province and Pacific NorthWest LNG, one of the project’s conditions for moving ahead with the project.

"The company has met its commitment to ratify the agreement we signed, which establishes the path to a final investment decision on the project," said finance minister and government house leader Michael de Jong.

"Now it’s time  for the government to address our commitment, which will see the public release of the PDA and the introduction of legislation that would both ratify this agreement and enable future agreements with other proponents."

The proposed project also requires a positive outcome from the federal environmental assessment process, as well as continued constructive engagement with Coast Tsimshian and other First Nations. The province stated it will continue to work with First Nations and the proponent as they work to achieve the highest environmental standards, including protection and enhancement of the fish habitat.

Pacific NorthWest LNG plans to build the LNG facility in the District of Port Edward, on land administered by the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

The first phase of the project would consist of two liquefaction trains, two LNG storage tanks, marine infrastructure with two berths for LNG carriers, a material offloading facility, as well as administration and auxiliary buildings.

The facility would liquefy and export natural gas produced by Progress Energy Canada Ltd. in Northeast B.C. for transport to Lelu Island by the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project. Project officials announced earlier this month they would give a positive final investment decision, subject to two conditions.

The first condition is approval of the Project Development Agreement by the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.The agreement requires the province to compensate the proponent and partners under certain circumstances against adverse changes to the LNG Income Tax, the Natural Gas Tax Credit or the Carbon Tax.

The second condition is a positive regulatory decision on Pacific NorthWest LNG’s environmental assessment by the Government of Canada.

The project received an Environmental Certificate from the provincial government in November 2014.

The certificate included eight conditions, which Pacific NorthWest LNG has committed to fulfilling.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is currently reviewing the project’s environmental assessment application and is expected to make a decision later this year.

Construction is estimated to take about four years, with commercial operations targeted to begin in 2019.

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