A business-development trip by Canada’s Minister of Natural Gas Development, Rich Coleman, has strengthened British Columbia’s working relationship with large liquefied natural gas (LNG) proponents and investors in China, South Korea and Malaysia.
In all three countries, existing and new proponent companies and prospective investors endorsed B.C. as a destination of choice for LNG plant construction and long-term operations. Final investment decisions are expected to be made on some projects in the next year.
The minister began his 12-day trip in Seoul, South Korea, where he delivered a keynote speech at the Canada-Korea Dialogue on Energy. In Beijing, he gave a keynote address at the ninth Canada-China Energy and Environment Forum, the largest gathering of Canada-China bilateral energy executives and policy makers to date.
Both speeches focused on British Columbia’s commitment to competitiveness, skills training and environmental leadership. These were also central themes during the minister’s panel discussion at the 22nd World Energy Congress, where British Columbia was widely acknowledged as a stable, attractive destination for trade and investment.
The minister also met with Petronas and toured the company’s LNG complex in Bintulu, Malaysia – one of the world’s largest LNG production facilities. This was the minister’s first opportunity to speak directly with the state-owned company in Malaysia since Prime Minister Mohd Najib announced plans to invest US$ 36 billion in the Pacific Northwest LNG facility, which is proposed for Prince Rupert.
Building positive business relationships
As a fundamental part of the trip, the minister reinforced that the B.C. is committed to building positive business relationship with companies, government officials and other industry partners interested in helping to develop B.C.’s LNG potential.
Premier Christy Clark’s Jobs and Trade Mission in November will further B.C.’s LNG prospects by strengthening the Canadian government’s connection to key stakeholders in Asia.
Strengthening relationships, securing investments
Mr Coleman said that B.C.’s LNG potential is very much in the spotlight and that the province was open for business. “Stakeholders in Asia want to diversify their energy portfolios and B.C.’s natural gas is in high demand. We are strengthening relationships and securing investments to make it happen, which will create unprecedented economic wealth and jobs for the people of our province.”
Greg Kist, president of Pacific NorthWest LNG, said: “British Columbia has many competitive advantages that make it an attractive place to invest. The fact that Minister Coleman specifically came to Malaysia to meet with Petronas represents a further step in building a positive working relationship as our project moves towards our final investment decision.”
Yang Hua, president of CNOOC Group, vice chairman of CNOOC Limited, and owner of Canadian-based Nexen, said: “We are in Canada to invest, to be a good employer and to responsibly develop the energy that consumers, and a growing economy, demand. We appreciated the face-to-face meeting with Minister Coleman to learn more about LNG opportunities in British Columbia, share perspectives on the industry, and discuss the economic benefits that natural gas development is bringing to his province and the rest of Canada.”
Seokhyo Jang, CEO and president of KOGAS, also relayed his pleasure at meeting the Canadian minister: “We are intending to pursue LNG Canada and the minister’s visit strengthened our business relationship,” he said.
Adapted from press release by Ted Monroe
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