The Pacific NorthWest LNG plant in Port Edward is dead. Petronas announced the decision on Tuesday, July 25. (Photo submitted)

The Pacific NorthWest LNG plant in Port Edward is dead. Petronas announced the decision on Tuesday, July 25. (Photo submitted)

Petronas cancels LNG project proposed for Lelu Island

Company cites market conditions as reason for pulling out

  • Aug. 4, 2017 1:30 a.m.

Petronas and its partners have decided not to proceed with the Pacific NorthWest LNG project near Port Edward.

The Malaysian state-controlled energy giant has pulled the plug on the proposed $11.4-billion liquefied natural gas project.

According to a release by the company, the decision was made after a careful review of the project and changes in market conditions.

“We are disappointed that the extremely challenging environment brought about by the prolonged depressed prices and shifts in the energy industry has led us to this decision,” said Anuar Taib, Petronas’ executive vice president and chief executive officer for upstream operations.

Michelle Mungall, B.C.’s minister of energy, mines and petroleum, in a press conference, reiterated Petronas’ stated reason for the decision.“The company was very clear,” Mungall said. “This was a decision they are making because of the economic challenges in the global energy marketplace.”

MLA Jennifer Rice said there is mixed reaction to the end of project. On Haida Gwaii, Pacific NorthWest LNG inspired several protests, from local street signs and rallies to T-shirts at the All-Native basketball tournament and a global headline-grabbing but silent protest during the visit of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge last fall.

In a statement, Rice said some people are unsurprised given the global market for natural gas, others are celebrating the protection of salmon habitat off Lelu Island, while others feel the wind has been knocked from the sails of economic opportunity here.

“We must remain optimistic about our future in the Northwest,” she wrote, calling for a more diversified regional economy and noting the recent expansion of the Fairview container terminal in Prince Rupert has created 200 jobs, and the AltaGas propane terminal on Ridley Island is already under construction.

Despite the cancellation of Pacific NorthWest and Shell’s cancellation of Prince Rupert LNG earlier this year, Rice noted that several smaller LNG projects are still proposed for the area. Those include WCC LNG for Prince Rupert, Aurora LNG for Digby Island, Grassy Point LNG in Tuck Inlet, and Orca LNG near Prince Rupert.

“While none of these projects singularly have an investment dollar amount equivalent to what was proposed with the Pacific Northwest LNG project, collectively these contributors to our local economy are invaluable,” she said.