The Canadian government has conditionally approved the $11bn Pacific NorthWest LNG project in British Columbia following completion of federal environmental assessment.

Planned to be built in Lelu Island near the Port of Prince Rupert, the project would be a natural gas liquefaction and export facility to meet the demand from Asian markets.

The project is led by Pacific NorthWest LNG, a consortium involving of Petroliam Nasional (Petronas) with 62% stake, Japan Petroleum Exploration 10%, Petroleum Brubei 3%, Indian Oil 10% and China Petrochemical (Sinopec) 15%.

In order to reduce environmental impacts, the government imposed over 190 binding conditions for the project.

The project is also subject to a rigorous compliance and enforcement regime including establishing environmental monitoring committees.

Canadian Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard Dominic LeBlanc said: "The Pacific NorthWest LNG proposal will bring great economic benefit to middle class British Columbians and First Nations.”

The cost of the project is estimated reach up to $36bn including the expenditure related to upstream natural gas development.

LeBlanc added: “Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) scientists have conducted thorough reviews of proponent submissions at every step of the environmental assessment process and determined that the potential risks to fish and fish habitat can be mitigated.

“DFO will also be part of the strict ongoing monitoring required to ensure that all conditions are followed.”

“The project will also require regulatory approvals from DFO and detailed information on mitigation, monitoring and offsetting will be required from the proponent before approvals are made."

Expected to create 4500 jobs during construction phase and an additional 630 jobs during the operations, the project is planned to be completed in four years from the start of construction year.


Image: Illustration of the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG project in Canada. Photo: courtesy of Pacific Northwest LNG