(Adds quotes from Kist, details on outstanding issues)
By Julie Gordon
VANCOUVER, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Pacific NorthWest LNG, a unit of Malaysia’s Petronas, still plans to make a final decision on the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in northwest British Columbia by year end, the unit’s president said on Thursday.
Greg Kist, speaking at a Vancouver conference, said the final investment decision (FID) would hinge on whether the provincial government comes out with promised tax measures for the LNG industry before the new year.
British Columbia’s ruling Liberals have promised to release the details of its LNG-taxation scheme by November.
“We do feel there’s a commitment to get this done to allow us to hit our final investment decision, but it cannot be an open-ended risk,” said Kist. “We will not FID without that being nailed down.”
He added that other outstanding fiscal issues, including a push by a consortium of B.C. LNG developers to be recognised federally as manufacturing operations to gain tax breaks, will also play into the company’s final decision.
Pacific NorthWest will also need to have provincial and federal environmental approvals in hand before the FID can be made, Kist said, though he declined to comment on a “Plan B” if regulatory approval has not been granted by year end.
“Our plan is to pull everything together to make that FID decision by the end of the year,” he told reporters at the Northeast B.C. Natural Gas Summit. “It would be our hope that all of the approvals would be in place at that point in time.”
Petronas’ Pacific NorthWest LNG is just one of more than a dozen LNG projects proposed for British Columbia’s Pacific coast that would ship cheap Canadian gas to consumers in Asia and around the world. (Reporting by Julie Gordon; Editing by James Dalgleish and Lisa Shumaker)