PREMIER Christy Clark need look no further than to an already-approved liquefied natural gas (LNG) project as a test case in how she can deliver on her promised economic benefits of LNG.
Better yet, citizens must expect the premier to pay close attention to the planned BCLNG project at Kitimat to ensure there is to be a benefit.
BCLNG is the smallest of all the LNG projects either approved or contemplated. Its competitive edge is that it will use gas delivered via the existing northwest Pacific Northern Gas (PNG) pipeline.
That’s where the northwest can benefit. The line is now woefully under-utilized because of the loss of heavy industry over the years. Remaining users, ie. northwestern residents, have had to shoulder the cost of maintaining the line resulting in delivery prices running two and a half times those being paid elsewhere in the province. At a rough calculation, that works out to approximately $500 a year for the average northwestern residential user.
Should BCLNG ever be built (purchase contracts remain to be signed), substantial revenues will flow to PNG to defray line expenses. And that should lower the rates.
PNG has already acknowledged this. It will be up to the provincial regulatory agency, the BC Utilities Commission, to ensure it happens.
Lowered rates won’t come close to Ms. Clark’s promised $100 billion Prosperity Fund. But it’s a start.