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Shell's LNG Canada seen as tip of megaproject iceberg

03 October 2018

Similarly, RBC Capital Markets said "the test for Canada LNG will be whether Shell can deliver the project on the stated budget, without cost increases and on time".

"This would make LNG Canada the biggest project sanction globally since the Tengiz expansion was approved in 2016, and the biggest greenfield project to be sanctioned since Yamal LNG in 2013", said Dulles Wang, director, North America gas at Wood Mackenzie.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the project is expected to be Canada's "largest private-sector investment" in Canadian history.

KOGAS said this will be Korea's first major project in Canada.

"It's irresponsible to green-light a project that's overall carbon pollution is staggering - much larger than what industry and government report - especially when there is no clear climate strategy showing how B.C. will meet its legislated carbon pollution targets", David Suzuki Foundation science and policy director Ian Bruce said in a release.

LNG Canada CEO Andy Calitz says the project received support from the B.C. government, local First Nations and the Kitimat community.

Construction will start immediately, with first shipments of the super-chilled fuel expected before 2025, aiming to feed surging demand from Asian buyers, primarily China.

The five companies behind the US$31 billion (C$40 billion) LNG Canada project have made a final investment decision on the project, they said in a press release, ending months of uncertainty and worry that the large-scale project could become the second failed LNG initiative in British Columbia. "This is a spectacular day for all British Columbians", he said.

The project will move LNG to Asia faster than from the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The announcement provides a much-needed boost for Trudeau's ruling Liberals, who have struggled with an exodus of global energy firms from Alberta's oil sands as well as setbacks in building a crude pipeline expansion to Canada's Pacific Coast.

"It will be significantly challenging for all of us but with the revenue, some $23 billion coming to the province from this project, we will be able to innovate, work with renewables, work with Shell and the joint venture partners to bring down emissions over the long term".

"Today is proof that a project can go through", said Karen Ogen-Toews, CEO of the First Nations LNG Alliance and former chief of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation in northern B.C.

The same sentiment was echoed by the Calgary energy sector, where natural gas producers have been desperate for more markets to sell their gas.

"Mr. Weaver has been very clear on his view on LNG and he can certainly speak for himself, but we are working, he and I and the government, on putting in place our climate action plan this fall and it will include LNG", he said in an interview after the LNG announcement.

Business interests have placed increasing pressure on Finance Minister Bill Morneau and other officials to improve Canadian competitiveness, through tax cuts, regulatory changes and other measures, arguing that Canada is gradually losing its advantage over USA firms.

The David Suzuki Foundation said its research has found that methane emissions from B.C.'s oil and gas industry are "vastly under-reported". And the power supply agreements - B.C. Hydro will supply some clean power to the project - are up and running.

Shell's LNG Canada seen as tip of megaproject iceberg