Jobs Minister Shirley Bond introduced Rich Coleman at his annual fundraiser at Langley Events Centre Wednesday night. The banner behind her was a not-so-subtle reminder of the BC Liberals' big win in the May provincial election.

Coleman outlines potential of LNG development

At his annual fundraiser, Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA went into details about how B.C. can attract LNG plants and boost economy.

A banner behind the stage at Langley Events Centre said it all — “We won. It’s Christmas every day.”

This was the setting for Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman’s annual fundraising dinner, which raises money for BC Liberal campaigns across the province. In the last election, money from the event helped fund 30 campaigns.

Coleman, who was provincial campaign manager, was in a jovial mood Wednesday as he spoke to the several hundred in attendance. He reminded them that, one year earlier, he had said “Adrian Dix will be the most unhappy man in B.C. on May 15, 2013.”

Many, including many BC Liberal insiders and even his own brother, doubted his optimism. They were wrong.

Jobs Minister Shirley Bond, who introduced Coleman, said “Rich is a believer. There were a lot of doubters. He never was.”

While Coleman is clearly in a happy frame of mind, he is also concentrating on his job as minister of liquefied natural gas (LNG) development. He gave his dinner guests a very clear idea of what he has been doing and how the prospects for LNG development shape up.

He said his objective is to get investors to see that B.C. is the best option for their investment, as there are many possible sources of gas for the hungry Asian market.

He said B.C.’s strengths are the north coast ports of Kitimat and Prince Rupert, which are 58 hours closer by ship to Asian markets than any other North American ports. Consistently cool weather there also helps, as it reduces the cost of liquefying gas by taking its temperature down to -160 Celsius. The gas compresses as a liquid and large quantities can be shipped on specially designed tanker ships.

Another of B.C.’s strengths is economic and political stability. Coleman is saying to potential investors that the B.C. government will work with them to design a fair tax regime that gives the province a fair return in taxation while giving them a return in investment that satisfies their shareholders.

The province will put these terms in legislation so that investments will be protected.

“I don’t think that government automatically is right (in determining tax rates) without sitting down and talking to proponents. Our objective is to find a ‘sweet spot’ that everyone is satisfied with.

“I believe our investment climate will get us the win.”

He has been criss-crossing the globe, meeting with companies interested in the LNG business. A number have already committed substantial funds to development work, including $500 million by Chevron and its partners in Kitimat. Shell is prepared to spend up to $1 billion to prepare the former Methanex site in Kitimat.  Petronas, owned by the Malaysian government, is ready to invest a substantial amount in Prince Rupert, as is a British firm. Nexen, owned by CNOOC, a Chinese government entity, has agreed to buy property at Grassy Point north of Prince Rupert for a plant site.

Coleman said that he expects as many as five plants to be built on the north coast, with three smaller plants on old industrial sites on the south coast and Vancouver Island. Together, they could create up to 100,000 jobs.

Companies need to get to the point where they make a “final investment decision,” and he is meeting  with them regularly to answer questions and promote B.C.’s investment climate. The final amounts of capital spending could reach $100 billion, he said.

If the plants go ahead, they will be built to the highest environmental standards, but even more important, he said, is that they will contribute to a lowering of emissions worldwide, by allowing natural gas to replace coal in Chinese power plants.

“China needs to fix its air to fix global air,” he said.

There will also be substantial investment and job prospects for First Nations people in both the northeast and northwest, he added.

If it all comes to fruition, and he said much more work remains to be done, B.C. will be able to pay its accumulated debt off within 15 years, and set up a prosperity fund that will help fund public projects long into the future. He said this will mean B.C. will be a better place for coming generations.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Langley Lodge’s deadly outbreak declared over

Fraser Health and long-term care home administrator confirm Friday declaration

Aldergrove moms orchestrate class photo for Kindergarten grads after COVID-19 school shutdown

Five year olds at Parkside Elementary got one final reunion to wrap up their school year cut short

Police arsenal deployed in Langley to avoid potentially violent situation

Mounties arrest armed Vancouver man after Tasering him on Willoughby side street

Langley Blaze back on the field but only for practices

New camera system allows families and colleges to watch ball players

This year’s Canada Day parade in Aldergrove unlike any before due to COVID-19

Families lined six kilometres of local streets in socially distant groups for the Wednesday procession

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Greater Vancouver home sales start to tick up, with prices holding steady

Residential sales last month reached 2,443, a 64.5 per cent jump from May

PHOTOS: South Surrey tractor project evokes ‘$1-million smile,’ helps connect neighbours

Retired Surrey firefighter Ron Henze began project for friend’s dad to fill time during pandemic

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

Search continues for person seen floating in Coquihalla River in Hope

Rescuers halted the search Thursday night as darkness fell

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

Most Read