Thursday, April 11, 2013

Four more LNG proposals for Prince Rupert region

The number of proposed LNG export terminals for the shores near Prince Rupert have increased once again, with four new potential project proposals received by the provincial government.

Energy Minister Rich Coleman shared some of the details of the latest interest on Wednesday, revealing that multi-national companies that include Nexen, Imperial Oil/Mobil, Woodside Petroleum of Australia and Korea's SK E and S all have expressed an interest in the North Coast.

The Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas outlined the scope of the proposals yesterday in a news released posted to the Ministry website.

They join the Peteronas/Progress West Coast LNG bid and that of the BG Group, who both have proposed projects now under discussion, in the case of the Petronas/Progress group their project has moved to the Environmental Assessment comments phase.

It's unlikely that all of these proposed projects will find their way into what appears to be the preferred  location for the LNG giants, but combined with the Kitimat proposals already in place, the stirrings of development for Grassy Point and the suggestion that the Kitsault site might also find use as an LNG hub, the Northwest suddenly seems very much on the industry's radar.

The four new proposals announced on Wednesday came about as part of the Liberal Government's call for expressions of interest regarding Grassy Point north of Prince Rupert.

The timing of yesterday's announcement in the midst of a provincial election campaign did not escape the attention of the NDP's Energy critic John Horgan, who in an interview with the Vancouver Sun accused the Liberals of fostering a gold rush  environment over the LNG potential on the North Coast.

For the moment however, much of the "gold rush" remains on the list under "potential".

Of all the proposals in the Northwest, only the Apache-Chevron project in Kitimat has moved into active site preparation work.

In Prince Rupert, the Petronas/Progress proposal seems to be a little further advanced at the moment over the BG group, both have indicated that Lelu Island is their preferred location for LNG export terminal development, whether they are joined by other terminal locations further to the north remains to be seen.

Clearly, the debate over LNG development is just beginning on the North Coast, City Council which has already discussed the issue a number of times in Council chambers will no doubt have cause to weigh in once again.

Not to mention that with a provincial election campaign now underway, one imagines that the subject should become one of the major discussion points for both Candidate Rice for the NDP and Candidate Fraser of the Liberals.

Should even a few of these proposals move forward, the impact on Prince Rupert would be immense, from construction, to final development such an influx of industrial infrastructure would make for major change to the city and provide employment and revenue for the region.

A community that seems to always be waiting for the boom times, will surely be watching the latest developments with keen interest.

You can review our archive of LNG developments on the North Coast here.

As the province's news outlets hear word of the new proposals we'll provide some of the background on yesterday's announcement below.

Vancouver Sun-- New LNG proposals avoid tanker transit in sheltered B. C. coastal waters
Vancouver Sun-- Four more LNG export projects proposed for B. C.
Northern View-- Four companies submit proposals for new LNG terminal near Prince Rupert
CFNR-- LNG interest near Prince Rupert high: BC Government
Global BC-- Four more LNG export projects proposed for B. C.

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