The approvals are for the pipeline sections that extend from 20km northwest of Hudson’s Hope to approximately 50km north of Fort St. James.

PRGT president Dean Patry said: "Receiving these first two permits is very good news and represents another key milestone for our project."

The permits were given on approximately 70 conditions related to notification and reporting, heritage conservation, First Nations, land clearing, wildlife, terrain stability, stream crossings and engineering.

Work on the two sections will not commence before a final investment decision has been made by Pacific NorthWest LNG, and conditions of the permits are met.

PRGT has filed applications for the construction of 11 pipeline and facilities under the project.

In 2013, Progress Energy Canada selected TransCanada to design, build, own and operate the $5bn PRGT project in British Columbia.

The 750km gas pipeline will transport natural gas from the North Montney gas-producing region to Pacific Northwest LNG export facility near Prince Rupert .

The PRGT project is expected to have an initial capacity of two billion cubic feet of gas (bcf) per day with a potential for expansion to 3.6bcf.