Canada govt to announce Petronas LNG decision Wednesday

  • Corporate News
  • Tuesday, 27 Sep 2016

Petronas could emerge with rival bids

OTTAWA: The Canadian government will announce on Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. local time (0015 GMT Wednesday) whether it has approved a C$11 billion ($8.3 billion) liquefied natural gas plant proposed by Petroliam NAsional Bhd (Petronas) after a three year wait.

An official statement said Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr would reveal the decision in the Pacific province of British Columbia.

The Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took into consideration an environmental assessment that said the plant in British Columbia would have significant adverse effects requiring major remedial work.

Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional Bhd, known as Petronas, along with partner companies proposed the plant called Pacific NorthWest LNG on a remote island about 450 miles (725 km) northwest of Vancouver with a target of starting operation in 2019, according to the plant's website.

The decision is widely seen as a major test for the Liberals, who must juggle the needs of an energy industry suffering from job losses as well as the concerns of environmentalists, who Trudeau courted in his successful 2015 election campaign.

Even if Petronas is granted permission for the plant, it may decide not to proceed. The firm has seen a global slump in crude prices squeeze finances, which make up a third of Malaysia's oil and gas revenue.

Green activists say the plant would cause a massive increase in greenhouse gas emissions at a time when Canada looks set to badly miss its existing climate change targets.

The provincial Liberal government in British Columbia - which faces an election next May - strongly backs the project. - Reuters
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