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Canada approves C$36B Pacific NorthWest LNG project

Canada's federal government approved the  project, along-awaited decision on a C$36 billion effort to export natural gas fromnorthern British Columbia.

Thegovernment said Sept. 27 that the project will have to comply with more than190 legally binding conditions to mitigate its environmental impact, includinga cap on direct greenhouse gas emissions and measures to protect wildlife. Theproject is led by the Malaysian state energy company , or Petronas.

"Withthe legally binding conditions we are putting in place and with BritishColumbia's commitment to increase its price on carbon in line withthe Pan Canadian Framework, I am confident that we will minimize theenvironmental impacts of the project and ensure that it proceeds in the mostsustainable manner possible," Environment Minister Catherine McKenna saidin a statement.

Petronaswas "pleased" by the approval, and with its partners, will look atthe conditions and conduct a total review of the project before deciding on thenext steps, the company said in a news release. Canada's NationalEnergy Board recently granted the project an extra year to begin construction as the developersawaited word on project approval and continue to weigh a global market.

ThePacific NorthWest LNG project has faced opposition from First Nations andenvironmental groups that say the project will add carbon pollution and harmwildlife and vegetation. "The conditions that come withthis approval set the bar too low," Merran Smith, executive director ofClean Energy Canada, said in a statement. "If this project is built ascurrently approved, it will be one of the single biggest sources of carbonpollution in the country."  

Theliquefaction and export facility on British Columbia's Lelu Island would becapable of producing 20.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG from three trains,according to the federal government's order. It would receive natural gas fromthe Montney Shale via a TransCanada Corp. pipeline.