Canada approves $36 billion Pacific NorthWest LNG Project
The Pacific NorthWest LNG Project is a major opportunity to grow the economy. The project represents one of Canada's largest resource development projects with a total capital investment of up to $36 billion when accounting for upstream natural gas development.
During construction, the project will create an estimated 4500 jobs and an additional 630 direct and indirect jobs during the operation of the facility.
As well as benefiting from job creation throughout the region, local First Nations communities will also benefit significantly through agreements reached with the proponent.
The project is subject to over 190 legally binding conditions, determined through extensive scientific study, that will lessen the environmental impacts of the project. For example, Pacific NorthWest LNG Ltd.
will be required to comply with mitigation measures that will minimize adverse effects on fish, fish habitat, marine mammals, wetlands, migratory birds, and human health.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency conducted extensive consultations throughout the environmental assessment and also provided four formal opportunities for public comments and input.
Over 34,000 comments were received from individuals and groups on the draft environmental assessment report. Concerns raised by the public included effects on fish and fish habitat, the volume of greenhouse gas emissions and impacts on Indigenous rights and title.
The decision imposes – for the first time ever - a maximum cap on annual project greenhouse gas emissions.
This cap means direct greenhouse gas emissions from the project will be capped at a maximum of 4.3 Mt of CO2e per year, 900,000 tonnes less than what had initially been proposed by the proponent.
In addition, upstream emissions will be reduced by the government's commitment to regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, and by British Columbia's plan for electrification of upstream extraction of natural gas. ■