Sinopec Signs on to Pacific Northwest LNG

Public comment period for the massive Pacific NorthWest LNG project that has been proposed for Lelu Island, near Prince Rupert, runs to May 1.

Pacific NorthWest LNG has another partner.

Progress Energy Canada, Pacific NorthWest LNG and PETRONAS have agreed to terms with China Petrochemical Corporation (SINOPEC) whereby the latter will acquire a 15 percent interest in the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG project near Prince Rupert as well as natural gas reserves in northeast British Columbia.

Pacific NorthWest LNG was already considered the frontrunner among the major projects to export British Columbia's natural gas, and the latest development only bolsters its position.

A final investment decision could be coming later this year.

"We are pleased to conclude the addition of another Pacific Rim market and investment into British Columbia which continues to highlight the attractiveness of Canadian natural gas," said Progress CEO Michael Culbert.

Greg Kist, president of Pacific NorthWest LNG, added: "Our energy export sector continues to gain momentum with this transaction and the addition of a fourth investor."

SINOPEC has agreed to offtake 1.8 million tonnes of LNG per year for a minimum of 20 years.

In addition, SINOPEC signed a binding Heads of Agreement (HOA) with PETRONAS for the purchase of 3 MTPA of LNG for 20 years, sourced primarily from the Pacific Northwest LNG project. That is in addition to the 1.8 MTPA of equity LNG offtake, making SINOPEC one of the largest LNG buyers in the project

In 2013, JAPEX Montney Ltd. acquired a 10 percent interest and PetroleumBRUNEI acquire a 3 percent interest in the project. Earlier this year, the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. purchased a 10 percent interest.

Assuming the two most recent deals close on time, PETRONAS will hold 62 percent of Pacific NorthWest LNG.

Public comment period closes this week

A public comment period for the Pacific NorthWest LNG Project wraps up this week, concluding another significant milestone and bringing the massive project one step closer to a final investment decision.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is conducting a federal environmental assessment on the proposed project's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) through May 1.

Pacific NorthWest LNG is subject to review under both CEAA 2012 and British Columbia's Environmental Assessment Act and is undergoing a coordinated environmental assessment process with B.C.'s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO).

Following this comment period, the CEAA will prepare a draft Environmental Assessment Report, in which it sets out its recommendations regarding the potential environmental effects, proposed mitigation measures, and the significance of any remaining adverse environmental effects.

Another public comment period will be held for the project, this time on the draft Environmental Assessment Report, after it's concluded.

Progress Energy Canada would produce the gas in Northeast B.C. The $11 billion facility would be fed by TransCanada's Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project pipeline.

Pacific NorthWest LNG has already arranged off-take agreements, making the project more economically feasible.

It is thought to have pulled ahead of other projects in the race to export B.C.'s LNG, in part because of Petronas' success in bringing in off-take partners.

The proponent hopes to make a Final Investment Decision by the end of the year.

Pacific NorthWest LNG is thought to have pulled ahead of other projects in the race to export B.C.'s LNG, in part because of Petronas' success in bringing in off-take partners.

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