Jun 122013

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – Malaysian national oil company Petronas has announced a multibillion dollar plan to extract, liquefy and export natural gas in western Canada to energy-hungry markets in Asia, officials said. 

Arif Mahmood, Petronas’ vice president of corporate planning, said between $9 billion and $11 billion would be invested to construct two LNG liquefaction plants. Target date for the project’s completion is late 2018.

The site will be designed with the potential to add a third plant and LNG storage tank, the company said on its website.

Another $5 billion will be invested in a pipeline 750 kilometers (466 miles) long, to be built and operated by TransCanada Corp., to supply gas to the plants, Arif confirmed in an e-mail to The Associated Press. 

The Pacific NorthWest LNG project, located on Lelu Island in the Port Edward district in British Columbia, will liquefy and export natural gas produced by Progress Energy Canada, which Petronas also owns. 

Separately, Progress Energy Canada said it plans to spend “several billion dollars on activities related to natural gas extraction.”

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This will bring the total project cost to around $20 billion, the company said by email through a representative.

Petronas recently sold a 10-percent stake in the gas facility to Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. to secure its first long-term buyer, and is hunting for more buyers.

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