$100-billion LNG prosperity fund still possible: natural gas minister
Petronas, BG Group holding off on committing
VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The provincial government is sticking by its projections of a $100-billion prosperity fund generated by the LNG industry, despite two major projects being put on hold in recent weeks and a decline in energy prices.
With Petronas and BG Group holding off on committing to BC LNG in recent weeks, the prosperity fund promised by the Liberal government has become a punchline trotted out by opponents and skeptics.
But Natural Gas Minister Rich Coleman insists it’s still achievable.
“Can we reach a $100-billion prosperity fund? I actually believe we can over 30 years,” says Coleman. “That is based on attracting a number of plants. Each plant is worth well in excess of $1 billion to $2 billion a year in additional revenue to the province.”
Coleman also defends Petronas’ decision to look into doing engineering work offshore if it does go through with the project, saying our province isn’t capable of doing much of that work.
“A number of these components that would be needed for the plants are not something we’re capable of manufacturing in British Columbia,” he says. “We don’t have the expertise, we don’t have the capacity, and we don’t have the size of yards to actually build them.”
Beyond the recent dip in energy prices, companies exploring the possibility of investing in BC LNG have complained that this would be the only jurisdiction in the world to apply both a carbon tax and a levy specific to the LNG sector.