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Canada groups continue legal challenge against permit for scrapped LNG project

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Reuters are reporting that Canadian environmental and aboriginal groups have announced that they will push ahead with a lawsuit seeking to scrap an environmental permit granted to Malaysia's Petronas for a LNG facility in British Columbia, despite the company's announcement last month that it was scrapping the project.

A representative for the groups filing suit against the Canadian government said they wanted the permit granted by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency overturned so that the CAN$36 billion plan for an LNG export facility on Lelu Island in northwest British Columbia cannot be resurrected in the future by Petronas or any other operator.

Petronas announced last month that it was pulling out of the project, a consortium in which it has a 62% stake, due to weak gas prices. It had received the environmental permit after a three-year wait but with 190 conditions that aimed to limit the environmental impact of the project.

Still, minority stakeholder Indian Oil Corp Ltd, which owns a 10% stake in the project, said last week that the consortium was scouting for a new, cheaper location for the export terminal.

Market conditions and infrastructure costs made the Pacific Northwest LNG terminal economically unviable at this time.

Environmental group SkeenaWild and two First Nations groups had filed a lawsuit in Vancouver in October, claiming the Canadian government's environmental assessment was invalid and that the project would have significant and adverse environmental effects.

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