The Québec Government has given approval for the $600m Stolt LNGaz project in Bécancour, Canada.

The Stolt LNGaz project aims to produce up to 500,000 tonnes of LNG at its future Bécancour plant and to distribute the LNG, primarily via LNG tankers, to Quebec businesses not connected to the existing natural gas distribution network.

The project – the stakeholders of which include Stolt-Nielsen Gas, SunLNG and LNGaz – will begin production in 2018. It is valued at more than $600m (approx. CAN$800m).

Rodney Semotiuk, CEO of Stolt LNGaz, said in a statement, “We are proud to be Quebec’s first LNG liquefaction and distribution project to have conducted an in-depth impact study and ongoing consultations with the citizens and leaders of the Bécancour region, and to have received an overall favourable report from the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) of Quebec.”

“With the Bécancour project, Quebec will become the global model for the production and distribution of LNG on a regional scale.”

Canada is understood to be home to more than 20 LNG liquefaction plant projects – 17 of which are located in British Columbia – and is thought to have the potential to become a major exporter of LNG in the future.