|Finance Minister Mike de Jong|
is making a bit of news in Malaysia
this week with talk on LNG
As we outlined earlier today on the blog, the Finance Minister is in Malaysia as part of a six day visit to the region to update officials on the recent passage of the LNG Agreement with the Malaysian state owned energy giant Petronas.
In stories posted to the business pages of some English language Malaysian newspapers today, Mr. de Jong has apparently told a press conference that he believes that construction will start this fall, perhaps as soon as September.
"The construction will begin soon ... this fall. All other prerequisites have been dealt with"
As part of the media conference, the Finance Minister also noted that the LNG project heralds the rise of Malaysian trade with Canada, adding that when the LNG project is completed, Malaysia would immediately move into the number two position as a Canadian trading partner, the country currently is Canada's fourth largest trading partner.
Mr. de Jong also updated the Malaysian media on how he sees the Canadian Environmental Assessment process to turning out, indicating some sense of certainty in his mind that the review will provide for a positive announcement.
"Our central government environmental certificate is the remaining piece to this and we are working through the exercise. We are optimistic that in the very near future it will be concluded."
That timeline might seem just a bit optimistic at the moment, as the CEAA process has been in a bit of a holding pattern for much of the summer as the Federal agency seeks out further information from Pacific NorthWest LNG regarding their plans for the Lelu Island site.
As well, the project will still require Federal cabinet input once an announcement is made on the CEAA process, something that could be affected by developments out of Ottawa with the upcoming Federal election call in the fall.
You can examine more of Mr. de Jong's talking points as reported by the Malaysian media from the items below:
Malaysian Insider -- Petronas' LNG project in Canada to kick off in September
Malaysian Star Online -- Petronas to start construction of LNG terminal in Canada in September
For further background on the Pacific Northwest LNG project see our archive page here.