Another piece of British Columbia Premier Christy Clark’s liquefied natural gas dream chipped away yesterday, as AltaGas and Japanese refiner Idemitsu Kosan Co. walked away from a proposal to export about two million tonnes of LNG per year to Asia, beginning as early as 2017.
Toshiaki Sagishima, executive officer and general manager of Idemitsu Kosan’s treasury department, “left open the possibility of continuing with the project when energy prices recovered,” Reuters reports. But “if current LNG prices continue into the future, the venture would not be able to make a commitment on development.”
On an earnings call with reporters, Idemitsu said it would respond to the price crash by cutting investment in its new fiscal year by about one-third, to ¥61 billion yen (US$560 million).
Idemitsu and AltaGas were part of the consortium behind a C$600 million LNG project at Kitimat that was cancelled in February. Clark, who campaigned on a massive LNG expansion plan during B.C.’s last provincial election and is under pressure to deliver results by the next, was most recently seen urging the federal government to move swiftly on western Canadian energy projects in response to the out-of-control wildfire that swept through Fort McMurray, Albert last week.
(Editor’s note: Has she no shame? Hasn’t she heard that this is no time to politicize a crisis??)
Clark “says an out-of-control wildfire in Fort McMurray means Western Canada must work quickly to extract its natural resources and export them to overseas markets in order to help the economy,” APTN reported Friday.
At a news conference following the annual Western Premiers’ Conference in Vancouver, “Clark said the blaze that’s destroying the oil city appears to be affecting Canada’s projected economic growth, and that the fix lies in utilizing the country’s western resources, including oil, liquefied natural gas, and uranium.”