02/03/2012 04:45 EST | Updated 04/04/2012 05:12 EDT

B.C. Premier Plans Liquefied Natural Gas Exports


Liquefied natural gas is the future of energy exports in B.C., Premier Christy Clark announced on Friday morning.

Clark was at Burnaby's BCIT campus to set out a new 10-year energy plan for the province, which includes the construction of two liquid natural gas plants in northern B.C. by 2020.

The premier said the plants in Kitimat would generate $2 billion in new revenue for the government each year.

"Like all commodities, natural gas prices go up and down. But one thing is clear to us: it is worth a lot more to us in Asia than it is in North America — a market to which we are currently captive," said Clark.

A pipeline that would deliver the gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat has already been approved, and the National Energy Board has also approved the export permits needed to send the liquefied natural gas overseas.

The B.C. government said future liquid natural gas exploration and development could produce around $20 billion in investment and create thousands of new long-term jobs.

In a related announcement the premier revealed a change in the province's standard for energy self-sufficiency, which will clear the way for the liquid natural gas plants to get the enormous power requirements they need to convert the gas.