Pacific NorthWest LNG announced today a positive final investment decision for its $11-billion Lelu Island terminal, located in Port Edward near Prince Rupert, subject to two conditions.
The conditions for the company are approval of the Project Development Agreement by the Legislature and regulatory approval from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
"In parallel with work to support the final investment decision, Pacific NorthWest LNG will continue constructive engagement with area First Nations, local communities, stakeholders and regulators. The integrated project is poised to create thousands of construction and operational careers in the midst of the current energy sector slowdown," said Michael Culbert, president of Pacific NorthWest LNG.
"A final investment decision is a crucial step to ensure that the project stays on track to service contracted LNG customers. Pacific NorthWest LNG is poised to make a substantial investment that will benefit Canada for generations to come."
Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman said the announcement today shows the work the province has done to develop the industry in the province has been effective. However, he acknowledged there is still more that needs to be done before the shovels hit the ground.
"We recognize there is work to do, including an environmental assessment by the Government of Canada, as well as engagement with First Nations. The Province of British Columbia will continue to work with all partners to ensure the project is developed with the highest standards of environmental protection and enhancement," he said.
"Developing an LNG industry will result in some of the largest private-sector investments in British Columbia's history, stimulating economic activity throughout our province like never before. Pacific NorthWest LNG is poised to be the first major operation in this new, exciting future."
News of the decision was welcomed by a very happy Port Edward Mayor Dave MacDonald.
"We're excited that we have reached another level in the negotiations and hope the company can come to a positive final investment decision soon," he said.
"This is another exciting day for Port Edward."
The Prince Rupert Port Authority, which includes Lelu Island, said it this conditional decision sends a strong message about Prince Rupert as a gateway to Asia.
"This conditional final investment decision is an important step in validating Pacific NorthWest LNG's project at the Port of Prince Rupert and the Prince Rupert Port Authority will continue to work with the company throughout the ongoing federal environmental assessment," said corporate communications manager Michael Gurney.
"With the potential addition of Pacific NorthWest LNG, it would be another terminal to further diversify cargo moving through Prince Rupert and benefit the communities surrounding the Port of Prince Rupert."
The Final Investment Decision will be confirmed by the partners of Pacific NorthWest LNG once the two outstanding foundational conditions have been resolved. Should the project proceed, up to 4,500 jobs will be created at the peak of construction, plus 330 new long-term careers operating the facility in the community and up to 330 long-term careers in the North Coast region.
Look for more on this story as it becomes available.