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Shell officially shelves its LNG project in Prince Rupert

A project rendering of the now discontinued BG Canada Prince Rupert LNG site on Ridley Island. - Contributed: Prince Rupert LNG
A project rendering of the now discontinued BG Canada Prince Rupert LNG site on Ridley Island.
— image credit: Contributed: Prince Rupert LNG

The Prince Rupert LNG project will not become a reality on the North Coast.

BG International, a member of Shell Group, has confirmed that it is discontinuing any development on its proposed liquefied natural gas project that was to be on Ridley Island.

“After a careful review Shell has decided to not continue with the Prince Rupert project,” said Rosa Miller, community relations manager for Prince Rupert LNG.

BG Group had put the project on hold in 2014, and in 2016, after Shell acquired BG Group, the LNG project became a part of the global portfolio review of combined assets leading to the decision to end development.

While the project was under review, the regionally based team, including Miller, continued to work in the area to support environmental initiatives and social investment activities. The Prince Rupert office will be open until May.

The plant was proposed to produce 21 million metric tonnes of LNG a year. Natural gas from northeastern B.C. would have been transported through Enbridge’s pipeline, the Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission Project.

Communications advisor for the company, Jesse Semko, confirmed on Monday that “Enbridge will continue to advance commercial discussions and market to other industry participants” its 850-kilometre pipeline.

“We continue to see LNG development as an excellent long term opportunity for Enbridge and B.C. natural gas,” Semko said.

Shell’s abandoned project site is on the southwestern section of Ridley Island and covers approximately 255 acres, federal Crown land that is under the authority of the Port of Prince Rupert.

“We are disappointed to see Shell bring an end to this particular project on Ridley Island. At the same time we are working with a number of other proponents who have projects either proposed or underway for Ridley Island,” said Michael Gurney, manager of corporate communications for the Port of Prince Rupert.

Shell’s withdrawal opens up the possibility for other LNG development on Ridley Island. There have been reports that Pacific NorthWest LNG is discussing relocating its docking facility away from Flora Bank, where there is a significant eelgrass bed, an important habitat for juvenile salmon.

City of Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain also shared his disappointment that Shell dropped its project but noted that there are other economic opportunities including the nearly completed port expansion.

“The City will continue to work with existing LNG proponents to advocate on behalf of residents and prepare for potential growth,” Brain said.

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