VANCOUVER – An expert on the liquefied natural gas industry says B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s plans for a booming liquefied natural gas industry are behind schedule.
Clark was re-elected last year, in part, on her vision of a trillion-dollar LNG industry that would create tens of thousands of jobs and wipe out the province’s debt.
The premier previously said LNG money would flow into a debt-payment fund by 2017, but Finance Minister Mike de Jong tempered those predictions in his budget this week, saying it’s unlikely the government would see any money for at least three to five years.
LNG expert Zoher Meratla (ZO’-hair mer-AT’-la) says there is no chance LNG revenues will be coming in by 2017, since there are currently no firm commitments to build any LNG terminals.
Meratla says if and when a company commits to a terminal development, it would take at least four years to build a plant and get it up and running.
The government released initial details of the proposed tax system for an LNG tax regime last week, though Meratla says the government is “way behind schedule.”