Premier Clark pitches LNG to Asia

Biggest trade mission yet to China, Japan and Korea leaves as new warning issued about environmental impact on Kitimat area

Premier Christy Clark attends reception for participants in a two-week Asia trade mission that began Thursday. About 200 people are visiting China

Premier Christy Clark set off Thursday on her fourth trade mission to Asia, after sidestepping questions about the environmental impact of liquefied natural gas export plants on the Kitimat-area environment.

A new report from environment group Skeena Wild concludes that if three LNG processing plants are built to burn natural gas for compression and cooling – what the industry calls direct drive – they would use two and a half times more gas than Metro Vancouver. The report calls for modern gas-fired power plants to be built outside the narrow Kitimat Valley to reduce the impact of sulphur dioxide and other pollutants that affect air and water quality.

Speaking to reporters at Vancouver airport, Clark rejected the report’s claim that the government has “tacitly endorsed” the use of direct-drive production of LNG.

“The study can’t have final answers on any of that, because they don’t know yet how liquefied natural gas plants will be powered,” Clark said. “We don’t know how many there will be. We’re still in negotiations with the companies about how all that’s going to unfold.”

Environment Minister Mary Polak said in an interview that one LNG proposal has applied for an environmental assessment, and two others are in discussions on B.C.’s technical requirements for a permit and how the plants would be powered.

“Nothing like that has been finalized yet, and of course we are concerned about what that means for a constrained airshed like Kitimat, because we know that there are a number of facilities proposed for Kitimat,” Polak said.

Polak announced in October that $650,000 has been spent on a study of LNG impact in northwestern B.C. Results are expected by the end of March. U.S. Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Malaysian LNG investors expected to make final investment decisions on B.C. proposals later in 2014.

The expansion of Rio Tinto-Alcan’s aluminum smelter has already required a 50 per cent increase in the plant’s allowable sulphur dioxide emissions, from 27 to 42 tonnes a day. New technology is expected to reduce the smelter’s output of fine particulates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, fluoride and other pollutants when the upgrade is in operation in 2014.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Improperly transporting a pet in the back of the truck can cost up to $368

Police recommend keeping all animals inside the passenger portion of the vehicle

Mass-timber project in Esquimalt switches from condos to rentals

Corvette Landing will now offer rental units in the area

Government re-annoucement of child care spaces in Sidney meant to be celebrator

Lulu’s Kids Corporation opened its doors in November 2019

VIDEO: Royals squashed by Giants in 6–2 loss

Victoria will leave for six-game road trip, returns home Feb. 7

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

‘Extensive’ work planned at Big Bar landslide ahead of salmon, steelhead migration

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visited the site of the slide from June

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Royal deal clears way for Harry, Meghan part-time Canada move: experts

Keith Roy of the Monarchist League of Canada said the deal is exactly what Harry and Meghan asked for

Most Read