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Shell-led Canadian LNG deal gets environmental approvals

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15Shell-led Canadian LNG deal gets environmental approvals

Thursday Jun 18, 2015

By Julie Gordon

(Reuters) – Canada’s environment ministry said on Wednesday it approved a Royal Dutch Shell Plc-led liquefied natural gas export terminal on British Columbia’s coast, contingent on the project meeting 50 environmental, social and operational conditions.

In her decision, federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq concluded that the effects of the proposed LNG Canada project “are justified in the circumstances.”

She said the project would create thousands of jobs and contribute billions of dollars to the economy.

The province of British Columbia also issued an environmental certificate for the export terminal on Wednesday, listing 24 conditions, including monitoring its environmental impact and ongoing consultation with aboriginal people and local communities.

“Receiving both provincial and federal approval of our Environmental Assessment is a critical milestone on our path to making a final investment decision,” LNG Canada chief executive Andy Calitz said in a statement.

Calitz added the company will continue to work to mitigate the environmental effects and enhance the benefits of the LNG Canada project.

Shell and its partners are expected to make their final go or no-go decision on the project in 2016, with construction of the first phase set to take roughly five years.

The development, located in the northern British Columbia town of Kitimat, is anticipated to cost between C$25 billion ($20.4 billion) and C$40 billion ($32.7 billion).

It is one of 19 such terminals proposed for the Pacific Coast province as companies from around the world look to export cheap Canadian gas to energy-hungry markets in Asia.

A consortium led by Malaysian state-owned energy company Petronas gave a conditional go-ahead last week for its Pacific NorthWest LNG project, which is still in the federal environmental review process.

Shell holds a 50 percent stake in LNG Canada, PetroChina Co Ltd has a 20 percent share, while Korea Gas Corp and Mitsubishi Corp each hold 15 percent.

($1=$1.22 Canadian) (Reporting by Julie Gordon; Editing by Chris Reese; and Andre Grenon)

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