Canada’s Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) has given Malaysia’s state oil and gas firm Petronas extra time in which to show more information about the environmental impact of its proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Lelu Island in northern British Columbia.
The $11bn project, called Pacific NorthWest LNG, would be near Prince Rupert and close to the US state of Alaska.
In February it received qualified support from the CEAA, which reports to Canada’s Minister for the Environment. In that assessment CEAA expressed concern about possible harmful effects on harbour porpoises and climate change.
This latest decision to extend the review process by three months came just days before an expected decision by the minister.
Canada is lagging behind the US and Australia in moving on its potential LNG export resources.
The decision to delay a verdict on the Pacific NorthWest LNG project followed Friday’s granting of federal environmental approval to the smaller LNG export facility at Howe Sound, near Squamish in British Columbia.
That terminal near Vancouver, to be run by Indonesian firm Woodfibre, had already received the nod from native tribespeople Squamish Nation. It is perceived as being unlikely to cause significant negative environmental effects.