The majority owner of one of several large-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) plans for the Prince Rupert area may have announced last month it is delaying a final investment decision, but planning for the Pacific NorthWest LNG plant on Lelu Island continues.
Petronas, owned by the Malaysian government, cited construction costs and the fall price of oil – which could affect the price of LNG – as prime reasons for delaying the final Pacific NorthWest LNG decision.
Pacific NorthWest LNG, however, is continuing to assemble its business plan components and company representatives held an open house Jan. 13 at the arena banquet room. Company corporate affairs senior advisor Spencer Sproule said the open house, one of a series, is meant to provide information on employment and other opportunities. The company wants to hire as many local people as possible and is taking resumes from people for construction and operations jobs, he added.
After locals are hired and if any positions remain, the company will look to hire other B.C. residents and then look throughout Canada, added Sproule.
The company has indicated that if positions could not be filled in that order, it would then look to hire internationally.
Should the decision be made to begin construction, approximately 4,500 workers will be needed with about 330 direct jobs available once the plant is operating.
The company expects a further 330 spinoff jobs to be created.
Pacific NorthWest LNG received its provincial environmental certification late last year and is now awaiting its federal environmental clearance. The provincial government also gave its environmental blessing to Prince Rupert Gas Transmission, the TransCanada pipeline that would pump natural gas from then northeast to the plant.
At the same time, Pacific NorthWest LNG is working with a team of provincial and federal agencies, and getting close to choosing an engineering company for designing and constructing the Lelu Island buildings.
Three engineering companies – Bechtel Ltd. out of Calgary, TSH Consortium out of Rome, Italy and KBR/JGC joint venture out of Middlesex, England – have submitted bids and the best will be chosen in the near future, said Sproule.