The evaporation of an LNG project: A chronology of Pacific NorthWest LNG

By The Canadian Press
July 25, 2017 - 1:50pm

VANCOUVER — Here is a look at how the Pacific NorthWest LNG project evolved over the last several years before the announcement of its demise Tuesday:

Feb. 19, 2013: Pacific NorthWest LNG submits its project description to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

April 29, 2013: Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. Ltd. buys a 10 per cent stake in Pacific NorthWest LNG and agrees to buy 10 per cent of the liquefied natural gas produced over at least 20 years, becoming the first secure buyer.

Dec. 16, 2013: The National Energy Board grants Pacific NorthWest LNG a licence to export up to 22.2 million tonnes of LNG annually for 25 years. It had applied in July for a licence to export up to 19.68 million tonnes, beginning in 2019.

Feb. 28, 2014: Pacific NorthWest LNG submits its environmental impact statement to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

March 26, 2014: The federal government approves Pacific NorthWest LNG’s export licence.

June 11, 2015: In what it calls its final investment decision, Pacific NorthWest LNG announces it will proceed with the project as long as it satisfies two conditions: approval of a project development agreement by the B.C. legislature and clearing the federal environmental assessment review process.

July 21, 2015: The B.C. government passes legislation to ratify a project development agreement with Pacific NorthWest LNG.

March 21, 2016: The federal government grants the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency more time to review the project.

Sept, 27, 2016: The federal government approves the project with 190 conditions, including for the first time a maximum cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

Oct. 27, 2016: Two First Nations and an environmental group file separate applications for judicial review in Federal Court to quash approval of the project. A fourth challenge is launched in January 2017.

July 25, 2017: Pacific Northwest LNG says it will not proceed with the project, citing poor market conditions including a prolonged period of low LNG prices.

QuickQuotes: Supporters, detractors weigh in on Pacific Northwest LNG decision

VANCOUVER — Malaysian national energy company Petronas announced Tuesday it was walking away from the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, a massive liquefied natural gas development that was to be built in British Columbia. While the project received federal government approval, it also faced opposition from some First Nations and an environmental group that sought to squash the go-ahead in the courts.

Here is what some people had to say about it:


“NDP comes to office in B.C., Petronas immediately cancels its $30B LNG investment, 1 of the largest planned foreign investments in CDN history… NDP politicians want huge, endless increases in government spending, but oppose & drive away the industries that can help pay for it.” — Jason Kenney, who is running to be the leader of the newly formed United Conservative Party in Alberta, in a series of tweets.


“Since the beginning it has been clear that the global marketplace does not support the LNG industry that the BC Liberals promised in their 2013 election campaign. Rather than doing the hard work required to strengthen and secure the economic opportunities already available in other sectors, the BC Liberals recklessly went all in on a single industry. They let opportunities for innovation and economic development in clean technology, the resource sector and other major B.C. industries fall by the wayside.” — Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green caucus, in a statement.


“This is good news all around, because this project would have lost money while fuelling dangerous levels of climate change. The sooner we move on from fossil fuel mega-projects to building the renewable energy economy, the better positioned we’ll be to thrive in the emerging low-carbon world.” —  Keith Stewart, a senior energy strategist for Greenpeace Canada, in an email.


“Today’s decision by Petronas to cancel the Pacific Northwest LNG project sends a clear signal about the impact of the closed for businesses agenda put forward by the NDP government…. John Horgan’s activist NDP agenda is making it harder to do business in British Columbia. Massive carbon tax hikes will not be revenue-neutral and higher costs on flaring in the gas sector will make it more expensive to create jobs and do business in British Columbia.” — the B.C. Liberal Caucus in a statement.


“I think we need to be clear that British Columbia remains a player in the LNG sector and that I’ll be on the phone later today … with all of our LNG stakeholders to reassure them that this new NDP government is going to be working with them.” — Michelle Mungall, B.C.’s energy, mines and petroleum resources minister, at a press conference.


“Today’s announcement concerning the Pacific Northwest LNG project was a business decision made by the proponent…. We will continue to deliver for the energy sector, laying the foundation for its long-term, sustainable development and growth, which will maintain and create jobs while ensuring a cleaner Canada for future generations.” — Alexandre Deslongchamps, a Natural Resources Canada spokesperson, in an email.


“We are deeply disappointed that PNW will not go forward, as it means thousands of construction jobs will not materialize…. This is a significant lost opportunity that would have brought many benefits. Canada has to act faster to seize the opportunities that our responsible resource development industries can deliver.” — Chris Gardner, president of the Independent Contractor and Business Association of B.C., in a statement.

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