Even though the Pacific NorthWest LNG plant has been approved by the federal government, the company has pulled the plug on it.
Today, Pacific NorthWest LNG's partners announced that the $9-billion to $11-billion project near Prince Rupert has been cancelled "following a total review of the project amid changes in market conditions".
Its offices in Prince Rupert and Port Edward are scheduled to be closed on August 25.
This comes days after a Federal Court of Appeal judge ruled that the National Energy Board had to hear a constitutional challenge regarding TransCanada Pipeline's 900-kilometre pipeline.
It was going to transport natural gas that would be liquefied at the Pacific NorthWest LNG plant before it was to be exported to Asia on tankers.
Anuar Taib, executive vice president and CEO of the Malaysian state-owned energy giant Petronas, chairs Progress Energy Canada Ltd. and Pacific NorthWest LNG. Petronas is the major shareholder in both companies.
One of the plant's critics, the Pembina Institute, claimed that the project would result in carbon emissions equalling an additional 1.9 million cars to the road.
Earlier this year, political analyst and Straight contributor Martyn Brown noted that the B.C. NDP platform did not make any reference to the Pacific NorthWest LNG plant.
However in March 2016, Premier John Horgan and Environment and Climate Change Strategy Minister George Heyman—then in opposition—cowrote a letter to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency expressing their opposition.
They cited the risk to future salmon populations in the area, threats to the marine habitat and species, and the impact on the climate "through unacceptable high and inadequately regulated greenhouse gas emissions".
Brown predicted in his column that the weak long-term price forecasts, global LNG glut, various court fights, and the economics "are still likely to sink that project and [Christy] Clark's broader LNG fantasy".
Back in 2013, Straight contributor Ng Weng Hoong wrote a lengthy feature article on Petronas, offering hints even back then that the company would never build the project.
He explained that Petronas's top management was thinly stretched and that the company was under pressure to fund Malaysian welfare programs.
"In balancing the demands of its political masters with the company’s imperatives—financial prudence and access to new oil and gas reserves—Petronas’s most viable option would be to sell off a significant portion of its expensive Canadian project to new partners," Ng wrote at the time.