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

Port McNeill council tackles the issue of AirBnBs

Council wants a public hearing to identify options for short-term rentals in Port McNeill.

Port McNeill council roundup: Feb. 11 meeting

Various stories from Port McNeill council’s Feb. 11 meeting.

Forestry workers vote for new agreement, ending 8-month strike on Vancouver Island

Wage increases, higher premiums and contract language part of new agreement

REVIEW: Poetry helps Conshinz heal from brain trauma

The Book of 1000 Poems, Volumes 1-4, by Conshinz, a.k.a. Port Alice… Continue reading

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Most Read