Our newsletter: Cedar LNG decisions awaited. And more from the Alliance. . . .

Our Jan. 5 newsletter: 

Cedar LNG decisions awaited

December 31 passed with no word from provincial or federal governments on the hoped-for approvals of the Haisla Nation’s proposed Cedar LNG project in the Kitimat area.

The B.C. Environmental Assessment Office announced on Nov. 16 that it had completed its assessment of Cedar’s application for an Environmental Assessment Certificate.

The BC EAO added: “The proposed project has now been referred to provincial decision-makers and provided to the federal Minister of the Environment and Climate Change to inform the federal decision. . . .

“The B.C. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and the B.C. Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation will make the decision by the province on whether or not the project will be approved to proceed.

“In accordance with the B.C. Environmental Assessment Act (2002), provincial ministers have up to 45 days to decide whether to:

  • issue an environmental assessment certificate,
  • not issue an environmental assessment certificate, or
  • require further assessment.”

That set the decision deadline for BC as Dec. 31. But there was no announcement by year-end of any decision from the BC ministers (or from the federal minister).

Cedar LNG is a floating LNG plant proposed by the Haisla Nation in partnership with Pembina Pipeline Corporation. The Haisla would be the majority owner of the $3-billion project.

It would produce some three million tonnes of LNG per year. Phase One of the LNG Canada project will produce 26 million tonnes. Woodfibre LNG, which plans to start construction this year, will produce up to 2.1 million tonnes of LNG per year.

The BCEAO has found that Cedar LNG “would not have significant adverse effects on GHG emissions,” and “could have a positive impact on GHG emissions globally,” by replacing coal to produce power overseas.”

And the agency also says: “Cedar LNG’s key mitigation measure to use B.C. Hydro’s clean grid electricity provides significant GHG emissions reductions and may offer further reductions as renewable electricity expands.”

Mexican competition for BC LNG?

Mexico has big plans to become an LNG export powerhouse, and the U.S. now has authorized the export of American natural gas by proposed projects in Mexico.

American company Sempra Infrastructure got a Christmas present from the U.S. Department of Energy, which granted Sempra’s request for U.S. LNG export permits for two terminal projects planned in Mexico.

One is Sempra’s Energia Costa Azul project on the peninsula of Mexico’s Baja California. It is under construction, and aims to produce three million tonnes of LNG a year. Its exports are targeted to begin sometime in 2024.

The other is Sempra’s proposed Vista Pacifico terminal in Sinaloa State. It would produce four million tonnes a year.

(And Sempra is also talking of a potential third Mexican terminal in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca.)

Sempra notes that its first two plants would mean about 11 days of sailing time for an LNG carrier to reach key Asian markets — and that would mean BC losing a prime export advantage.

U.S. LNG plants on the Gulf Coast are 20-24 days of sailing-time from Asian buyers, while BC plants are only 10-12 days away, meaning competitive lower costs — and fewer emissions.

The current rate of chartering an LNG carrier can hit as much as US$400,000 per day. So the sailing-time savings from BC — or Mexico — are hefty.

In addition, the canal fees for sending a typical US LNG carrier from the Gulf Coast on a return journey through the Panama Canal amount to some US$980,000. BC LNG exporters don’t have to pay that; nor do the proposed operations in Mexico.

In addition to the Sempra projects, there are at least three other LNG plants under consideration in Mexico. But there are questions about whether they are realistic.

“Is there enough capacity and pipelines to support these projects? I don’t think so,” says Eduardo Prud’homme, head of the Gadex consultancy.

If they do come about, there’s always the possibility of adding insult to Canadian injury. Some of the “American gas” to be turned into LNG could be Canadian gas. We export half of our gas to the U.S.






  • The First Nation’s Major Projects Coalition’s Values Driven Economy Conference, April 24-25, Vancouver. Draft agenda online: http://ow.ly/Ik1b50M2NXL


  • Canada Gas and LNG Exhibition and Conference, May 9-11, Vancouver: http://ow.ly/YxcZ50LjFM1
  • The Forward Summit 2023, May 17-18, Grey Eagle Resort & Casino near Calgary. Registration: http://ow.ly/Q8ZV50K7FYb (Note that there’s an Indigenous discount.)






  • The International Gas Research Conference, May 13-16. Our Karen Ogen-Toews is on the national organizing committee. Conference website: https://igrc2024.org/


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