Minister says PNW LNG decision could come sometime after Sept. 15

Decision on controversial export project was delayed in March over environmental concerns

Canada’s Natural Resources Minister says a federal decision on Pacific NorthWest LNG will likely come some time this September. 

According to a Canadian Press report, minister Jim Carr told reporters at a clean energy conference in San Francisco that the federal government’s decision on the controversial project will “likely be some time after the 15th of September.” 

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The $11.4 billion terminal on Lelu Island outside Prince Rupert would liquify natural gas sourced in the Peace Region. It is considered a crucial piece of B.C.’s oil and gas industry, as the sector struggles with a North American supply glut. Developing an LNG industry was also a major plank of the provincial B.C. Liberal government in the 2013 election.

However, the plant has encountered opposition from environmental groups and First Nations over its impact on Canada’s greenhouse gas reduction commitments, as well as its impact on the Skeena River salmon fishery. 

In March, the federal government asked from more information on the project, delaying approval by several months. 

This week, Peace Region MP Bob Zimmer accused the Liberal government of “dithering” on the project.

Carr told reporters that the Sept. 15 timeline depends on when Pacific NorthWest LNG submits its final paperwork. 

"I expect a decision before the end of September — unless for reasons I don't know about today, there is significant delay in the filing of the final application to the regulator."

He said project proponent Petronas is expected to make its final submissions to the CEAA in the coming weeks. If the agency accepts the filings, it then has 90 days to make a decision whether to approve the project.

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