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Market forces, not opposition, kill huge LNG project in British Columbia

Petronas, a Malaysian state-owned oil and gas giant, planned to build a huge terminal and pipeline on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert, B.C. to produce liquified natural gas for markets in Asia.
Petronas, a Malaysian state-owned oil and gas giant, planned to build a huge terminal and pipeline on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert, B.C. to produce liquified natural gas for markets in Asia. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Backers of a proposed liquified natural gas facility in British Columbia have pulled the plug on the project, citing poor market conditions for the product.

The $36 billion Pacific NorthWest LNG project had the backing of both the B.C. government of Christy Clark and the Justin Trudeau administration, which estimated 4,500 jobs would be created during the construction phase of the project and 630 workers would be needed to operate the facility.

“We are disappointed that the extremely challenging environment brought about by the prolonged depressed prices and shifts in the energy industry have led us to this decision," said Anuar Taib, chairman of the Pacific Northwest LNG board, in a news release.

The project was opposed by environmental groups and First Nations tribes because of concerns over climate change and salmon habitat, according to Global News. The project would have pumped more than 5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air annually, according to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

Petronas, a Malaysian state-owned oil and gas giant, led the development that would have built a terminal and pipeline on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert, B.C. and shipped LNG to markets in Asia.

LNG is produced by cooling natural gas to minus 162 degrees Celsius in order to make it a liquid. The export facility would produce up to 19.2 million metric tons of LNG a year, company officials have said.

Jim Donaldson: 360-715-2288.

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