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

‘Not the monster everyone thinks’: Sister of human-trafficking suspect speaks out

Trish Kelly’s brother was one of four Vancouver Island residents arrested last month in Saskatchewan

UPDATED: Indigenous youth occupy B.C. Legislature steps amidst court injunction

Police negotiating with people gathered in support of some of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Oak Bay ups deer management budget to $96,100 for 2020

Provincial grant approved for deer contraception program

Old Town hotel developer says full retention of historic buildings ‘impossible’

UVic development partner says past renovations, seismic instability are barriers

Battling bullying covers a lot of ground, says Safe Schools manager for Sooke School District

Jamie Adair’s background is tailor-made for the work he does with the… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Most Read