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Petronas LNG terminal would put British Columbia on 'world stage'

Petronas LNG terminal would put British Columbia on 'world stage'
British Colombia Premier Christy Clarke sees a planned LNG export terminal under a deal with Malaysia’s Petronas as really putting it “onto the world stage”.

Clark made the remarks at a special meeting of the New York Energy Forum as the province is in the final stages of orchestrating a deal with Petronas to build an LNG export terminal near Prince Rupert.

A Final Investment Decision (FID) on the “Pacific Northwest” terminal, valued at CAD11bn, is part of an even larger CAD36bn project, where gas to be extracted in eastern BC would be piped westward to the coast, and then liquefied, which was expected by end December, has been delayed in the face of falling prices across the energy complex.

The province has made special efforts to attract investment in LNG for exports to Asian destinations, which the Premier said “we really see as putting us onto the world stage” with the investment comprising a huge component of the province’s future economic growth. Timing on the Petronas deal, if it moves forward, would see the first gas deliveries in 2019, with minority-partner Sinopec receiving the first shipments.

When completed, project could supply 19.2m tonnes per annum (tpa) of LNG. Waiting in the wings is a Shell project, which could see 24m tpa, with exports commencing in 2020. Clark mentioned the province’s target of 82m tpa, as being a level attainable by the early 2020’s.

At present, 18 LNG export projects are on the drawing boards, though far less are anticipated to be up and running during the time-frame. Though the province has worked closely with environmentalists in overcoming problems, and has shown a business-like attitude, for example cutting a tax on LNG in the face of shifting energy economics, larger factors may be at play. Some commentators in British Columbia are suggesting that it could take a year for Petronas to get to a FID as energy companies around the world re-assess their capital budgets for investments.

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