Prince Rupert wants to be B.C.'s next natural gas hub, and is in talks with BG Group — the world's second biggest natural gas developer — to make that happen.
The company confirms it is exploring opening a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on the North Coast.
"We've entered into an agreement with the Prince Rupert Port Authority really to consider the feasibility of that development in that area," said BG Group spokesperson David Byford.
On Friday, Premier Christy Clark announced two liquid natural gas plants would be built in Kitimat, B.C, by 2020.
Now the Prince Rupert Port Authority says it is also interested in liquefied natural gas, which Clark has billed as the future of energy exports in B.C.
"Oh we are very interested and particularly with such a well-known and impressive company such as the BG Group. The prospects of an LNG facility fits very neatly into the development plan at Ridley Island," said Port Authority spokesperson Micheal Gurney.
BG Group said growing demand in Asia is leading the company to explore its transport options. It already has natural gas developments in Arkansas and New York.
But though the company said its interest is real, it has no imminent construction plans.
Education lacking, MLA worries jobs won't go to locals
The developing port industry in B.C.'s northwest is seen as good news by local leaders; the region has one of the country's highest unemployment rates.
But North Coast MLA Gary Coons says the linchpin will be education, which is falling short of meeting future job demand.
"The concern is, that we won't be able to give jobs to locals," said Coons.
He said he would like to see the provincial government announce an education plan to match B.C,'s growing job demand, and the government's energy export plans.