OTTAWA: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) may change its plans for the proposed US$27 billion (RM120.15 billion) liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in western Canada, which will see the project circumvent a sensitive marine area that has become a flash point of controversy.
According to a Bloomberg report, the latest challenge to the planned Pacific NorthWest LNG gas terminal is the race for the office of the premier in British Columbia. John Horgan, leader of the province’s opposition New Democratic Party, thrust the LNG project into the middle of his campaign on Friday, telling reporters it was “poorly sited”. He vowed to “find a better place and a better way” to build the gas export terminal should he become premier, said the report. Ridley Island would be a better location due to easier access to tidewater, the report quoted Horgan as saying on Friday. “I will deal with those issues after the election should I be successful. I have made that clear to the proponents,” he was quoted as saying. To quell local opposition, Petronas had considered moving the project’s docking facilities to the neighbouring Ridley Island, where ships would berth to take deliveries of the fuel for export, said two people familiar with the negotiations in December.
The Bloomberg report said after more than three years of regulatory reviews and battles against environmentalists, the company found itself back in the spotlight ahead of the May 9 election, when Horgan would face off against the ruling B.C. Liberal Party’s Christy Clark, who previously won after promising to create a C$100 billion (RM339 billion) prosperity fund on LNG revenues. Canada had approved the project in September last year after attaching about 190 conditions. The report said the project had also faced economic headwinds as more than 20 gas export proposals in the province had been stalled by a global supply glut and plunging prices.