British Columbia is showing signs of new economic growth and job creation as a result of an emerging liquefied natural gas (LNG) export industry. The latest details were released today in a one-year update to government’s LNG Strategy.

With timely, concentrated actions, the government of British Columbia (BC) has built the foundation necessary to reach, and perhaps surpass, the BC Jobs Plans goal of having three LNG facilities in operation by 2020.

Progress made since the release of BC’s LNG Strategy last year includes:

  • Significant investments in BC’s natural gas sector, with approximately $6bn to prepare and accelerate the province’s growth prospects and an additional $1bn to further LNG proposals.
  • Major LNG proponents have come forward with plans to build an export operation, with five large projects proposed right now. When the LNG Strategy was released last year, there were only two facilities proposed for development.
  • A workforce strategy and action plan is underway with the leadership of government and the guidance of industry and training authorities. This strategy will ensure British Columbian’s will be trained with the skills to fill tens of thousands of jobs created from LNG construction and operation.
  • Power supply discussions with proponents are moving forward, with the government of BC focused on having the cleanest LNG industry in the world. In July 2012, government updated the Clean Energy Act to ensure a reliable, timely and cost-competitive option of gas-fired electricity generation could be used to meet the large power demands of LNG industry.
  • Actions have been taken to protect residential ratepayers and to ensure hydro rates for industry remain competitive. LNG proponents will be required to contribute capital for any new power infrastructure built. Government also amended its self-sufficiency policy so BC Hydro can mitigate rate increases by planning electricity supply against average-water availability, instead of critically low water levels.
  • The global attention on BC’s LNG potential will be the highlight of an international conference this month in Vancouver. The theme, Fuelling the Future: Global Opportunities for LNG in BC, highlights the province’s emerging role as an energy powerhouse that will serve Asia Pacific markets with a stable, long-term supply of natural gas. Multiple panel discussions will focus on topics such as global market opportunities; workforce and skills planning; LNG as a transportation fuel, and more.

The establishment of a LNG export industry supports the BC Jobs Plan by building on the province’s strengths to create jobs and economic opportunity from natural resources and proximity to growing Asian markets.

The government of British Columbia released Liquefied Natural Gas: A Strategy for BC’s Newest Industry on February 3rd 2012.

The strategy was released concurrently with British Columbia’s Natural Gas Strategy, which details specific government action items to strengthen BC’s potential for economic growth through the diversification of the natural gas sector.