LNG project construction in Prince Rupert could begin later this year: minister

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Construction could start at the site of the Pacific Northwest LNG project in Prince Rupert as soon as this year, according to the minister of natural gas, but there are still a few hurdles for the project to navigate before that’s a possibility.

With the companies invested in the project ready to give the green light pending an environmental assessment and provincial approval, Minister Rich Coleman says if construction does begin late this year as he says is possible, we could see LNG shipments by 2019.

“It would only be derailed, I suppose, if there was something in the environmental assessment that makes the project impossible,” Coleman said during a conference call with reporters on Friday.

The Lax Kw’alaams first nation has yet to give consent — but Coleman says he’s optimistic a deal can be made.

“In the last few weeks we’ve had some significant progress in our consultations and discussions with them with regards to the project,” says Coleman. “We’ll continue to work with them on their issues because that’s what we do. The biggest thing here is the significant benefit that this type of economic development will have to small First Nation communities and jobs and training for their young people to actually make a generational change for them.”

The environmental assessment is currently on hold while salmon habitat risk is evaluated.

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