On November 25, 2014, the British Columbia Environmental
Assessment Office (the BC EAO) approved the Pacific Northwest
LNG Export Terminal (the Terminal), one of the twelve major BC LNG
projects announced to date. The proponent of the Terminal is
Pacific Northwest LNG Ltd. (Pacific Northwest), which is owned
primarily by Malaysia's PETRONAS. However, other minority
shareholders such as China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., Japex
and Indian Oil Corporation are also backing the development of the
In approving the Terminal, the BC EAO also approved two
pipelines: (i) the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline (the
Prince Rupert Pipeline), which is being developed by TransCanada
Corp., and (ii) the Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission
pipeline, proposed by Spectra Energy Corp. The Prince Rupert
Pipeline will transport gas produced by PETRONAS' subsidiary,
Progress Energy Canada Ltd., in northeast B.C. to the Terminal on
Last year, the BC EAO and its federal counterpart, the Canadian
Environmental Assessment Agency (the CEAA) entered into a
memorandum of understanding (MOU) that allowed the BC EAO
assessment process to replace the same assessment process normally
conducted by the CEAA. Applicants are now required to make only one
application for an environmental assessment, rather than having to
obtain two separate, but substantially similar, approvals. We
discussed the mechanics of the MOU in a prior blog post.
Despite the MOU, Pacific Northwest opted to apply concurrently
to the BC EAO and the CEAA for the Terminal's approval.
Therefore, although the Terminal has now received approval by BC,
it still requires federal approval. The latest update in the CEAA
approval process of the Terminal was on October 8, 2014, noting
that Pacific NorthWest had submitted a project design update in
response to requests for additional information by the CEAA.
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