Wednesday, July 26, 2017

With Silence so far locally, the Petronas decision on PNW LNG echoes far beyond Prince Rupert

Yesterday's announcement by the Malaysian energy giant Petronas that outlined how it has abandoned its plans for an LNG terminal near Port Edwards has offered up much for the business and political opinion pages to discuss over the last 24 hours or so.

As we noted on the blog yesterday, the announcement which came from Petronas  (see notice here) in the mid morning hours pointed towards changing market conditions for the decision to walk away from the North Coast project.

However, for many political observers, those notes seem like a soft and non offending farewell for the Malaysian company, with the recent change in the political landscape in BC also gaining some traction as a theme for some observers of the LNG story in Canada.

Blaming marketplace for LNG retreat convenient for political critics
"A tragedy for Canada': Petronas cancels $26B LNG project at B.C. jacks up demands
Supporters, critics sound off on Pacific NorthWest LNG cancellation
Cancelled liquid natural gas project in B.C. will have ripple effect in Alberta
Not a good result for Canada': What CEO's are saying about Petronas
'We can't stomach another loss': Petronas' cancellation sparks fears about Canada's energy future
Energy minister shrugs off LNG loss
NDP had nothing to do with Petronas collapse? Really?

Other media sources focused on the economics of the LNG industry and how that has cast a shadow over the scope of what was planned for a Canadian industry.

Petronas pulls the plug on Canada's Pacific NorthWest LNG megaproject
Petronas scraps $29Bil western Canada LNG project
Petronas ends Canadian LNG project
Petronas pulls the plug on Pacific NorthWest LNG project
$36 Billion Pacific NorthWest LNG project dead
Company kills $9 billion to $11 billion Pacific NorthWest LNG plant near Prince Rupert
Pacific NorthWest LNG megaproject cancelled
A worldwide gas glut claims latests, $27 Billion victim in Canada
I'm scared for my community': northerners react to cancellation of Pacific NorthWest LNG
There are now three B.C. LNG frontrunners after Petronas pulls out

And while the story has generated interest in British Columbia, Canada and globally, on the local front some of the key political figures in the region have yet to offer up any comment related to the end of the the multi billion dollar project.

Leaving residents of the North Coast perhaps to wonder where they stand on the cancellation of the highly touted game changing plan for the North Coast, a development that once offered the prospect of hyper economic growth and large scale employment opportunities.

As we observed last night, Skeena-Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen did provide some thoughts on the cancellation, suggesting to a fashion that a lack of Social Licence was one element that was key to the events of Tuesday.

However, 24 hours after the announcement by Petronas, there are still two regional players missing from the information flow so far.

On the provincial front, North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, who has long been an opponent of the selection of Lelu Island as the proposed development site, has yet to offer up a comment through her Legislature website or social media streams of Facebook or twitter.

It should surely be a topic that the NDP MLA and new parliamentary secretary might have something to say about, especially when one considers her past themes of discussion in the Legislature (even though she missed the final vote on the issue) and with her signing of the Lelu Island declaration of 2016.

Also not part of the commentary to this point, is Mayor Lee Brain of Prince Rupert, who has yet to outline any form of official response, or share some thoughts on the cancellation of the project on behalf of the City of Prince Rupert, whether through the City website or the Mayor's civic Social media portal.

It makes for a strange absence from the flow of observations found so far, considering the significant interest that City Council took in the issue and the fact that the City had provided for a lengthy correspondence related to the environmental assessment phase of the project.

Port Edward Mayor (seen here from
the earlier days of the LNG ambitions)
offered up some comments on Tuesday
related to the cancellation of
the PNW LNG in his community
One local politician who has offered up a comment however, is Port Edward Mayor Dave MacDonald, he along with the Mayors of Terrace and Kitimat expressed disappointment at the announcement to Global News last night.

“I am disappointed. I’d hoped it would go forward,” said Mayor Dave MacDonald. “We believe in working with our partners in the whole area, Prince Rupert and the native villages, we were hoping the whole area was going to expand.” -- Port Edward Mayor Dave MacDonald, speaking to Global News on the cancellation of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project planned for his community.

We continue to archive more of the fall out from the Petronas decision on our Pacific NorthWest LNG archive page available here.

Update: Ms. Rice offered up her first comments on the cancellation at mid-afternoon on Wednesday, her statement can be reviewed here.

1 comment:

  1. Talking about the demise of the PNW project would compromise the "hyper-economic growth" narrative and hence undermine the rationale for staff increases and pay top-ups. Perhaps getting the City into the shipping business, rather than selling Watson Island, will be the next rationale for having a bloated civic bureaucracy and a full-time Mayor. It seems that in Port Edward dealing with PNW was just part of what a the municipal leadership does, rather than some kind of special project. There was no reason for Mayor Dave and his team not to be forthcoming with comments.