LNG Canada has made sure to include the BC provincial government, local indigenous peoples and communities as part of their stakeholder engagement program.  LNG Canada image.

Construction of $40 billion LNG Canada project could begin before the end of 2018

Susannah Pierce, the director of external relations for LNG Canada, told Reuters the company’s strong stakeholder engagement program for the $40 billion project has helped cut the risks of delays and cost overruns.

According to Pierce, LNG Canada has focussed on ensuring government, First Nations and local communities are on board with the project.

LNG Canada plans to transport natural gas from northeastern British Columbia via pipeline to its LNG facility in Kitimat where it would be put on tankers and shipped to Asian markets.

Last year, Petronas abandoned its plans to build the Pacific NorthWest LNG project due to market conditions as well as fierce opposition from local indigenous groups.

“I think what industry is figuring out is: it’s not that we can’t design projects from a technical perspective. What’s slowing them down, or what’s not allowing them to be delivered on time or on budget, is the stakeholder issue,” Pierce told Reuters at the World Gas Conference in Washington DC on Wednesday.

The project has been endorsed by its local First Nation community and is also supported by the northwestern BC town of Kitimat.  The province of British Columbia has also offered tax cuts and power perks as part of their support.

Earlier this week, TransCanada announced it had awarded $620 million in construction contracts to First Nation bands along the route.  TransCanada is building the 670 Kilometre long pipeline.

“All of these things are lining up to show that there is the stakeholder support that our joint venture participants should feel confident in in making a decision to move the project forward,” Pierce said.

Currently, the four joint venture partners, Royal Dutch Shell, PetroChina, Mitsubishi Corp and Korea Gas Corp., are reviewing the the project ahead of the final investment decision which is expected in the second half of 2018.

LNG Canada says it is hopeful construction will begin before the end of the year.