BUSINESS

Environmental assessment process underway for Pacific Northwest LNG project

02/19/2013 04:59 EST | Updated 04/21/2013 05:12 EDT
PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. - A federal review is getting underway into Progress Energy's proposed multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas terminal to be built on the B.C. north coast.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is inviting public comments on the $9-billion facility in Prince Rupert to chill natural gas to a liquid state so it can be shipped to lucrative markets in Asia.

Under the revised environmental assessment act, the agency must first decide whether a full federal environmental assessment is necessary.

The agency is gathering written comments from the public until March 11, as part of a 45-day evaluation period.

Progress, which is now a subsidiary of Malaysian state-owned firm Petronas, has applied to build two plants expected to process six million tonnes of natural gas annually.

B.C. is banking on what the Liberal government says is a trillion-dollar LNG industry over the next 30 years with five LNG projects proposed for Prince Rupert and Kitimat.