BC Premier Christy Clark touted international interest in a liquid natural gas facility near Port Alberni.
In a broadcast keynote address Wednesday afternoon to attendees at the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance Summit in Nanaimo, Clark said that there is interest by a Korean company in an LNG export facility in Port Alberni.
Port Alberni is ideally located for such a venture because of its access to the Pacific Ocean and to Asia, she said.
The initiative is connected to last week’s signing of a protocol between the Port Alberni Port Authority and the Huu-ay-aht First Nation.
The protocol sets out terms of cooperation for further studying a transshipment container hub on 750 acres of land in Huu-ay-aht territory. The plan also envisioned an LNG facility as part of the complex.
An LNG facility alone could be a “game changer” in Port Alberni, PAPA executive director Zoran Knezevic said.
“There could be 200 jobs on an LNG facility alone with construction then operation of a facility,” he said. “It would have a significant impact in the Alberni region.”
The government supports the initiative but further discussion about funding will hinge on more concrete commercial interest, Knezevic said.
A proponent from Korea is interested in an Alberni Inlet facility. If cemented, the deal could be worth more than $10 billion, he said. PAPA is working on an industrial suitability study on the idea, which should be finished in a couple of weeks, he added.
PAPA is also researching an existing right-of-way held by Fortis that allows the gas company to run a 36-inch pipeline that already supplies natural gas to residential customers. It’s possible that the line may be twinned in order to accommodate industrial use, Knezevic said. The new line could be run from the Lower Mainland to an Alberni LNG facility.