DAWSON CREEK - Today, Premier Christy Clark joined Spectra Energy to celebrate the opening of a new natural gas processing plant in northeast B.C.
"Spectra Energy has built an innovative facility to support local employment and business development in the Dawson Creek area," said Premier Clark. "Natural gas is the opportunity of our lifetime and this plant is another example of the long-term economic activity natural gas can create with the right support from industry investments and the BC Jobs Plan."
The recently built processing plant created 300 on-site jobs during Phase 1 construction and will continue to support jobs during the second phase of construction, which has already begun. Approximately 20 people are now employed full-time to facilitate the operation of the plant on the day-to-day basis. Family supporting jobs are created on the ground, with the plant facilitating more exploration of B.C.'s natural gas.
"Construction of the Dawson Processing Plant has been a significant economic generator through the provision of well-paying jobs, and the procurement of goods and services from diverse suppliers," said Doug Bloom, president, Spectra Energy Transmission West. "Now in its operation phase, the plant will have the capacity to supply enough cleaner-burning natural gas to heat 700,000 homes annually. It will also contribute approximately $350,000 in property taxes each year, providing a great source of revenue to help fund essential services like health care and education."
The processing plant serves an important role in meeting the natural gas demands of B.C., including the Lower Mainland. Spectra Energy gathers natural gas from exploration companies after the resource is extracted from the ground. The gas is then moved to the new plant where it is safely prepared for end use. After processing, Spectra Energy transports the gas through their pipeline system to companies, like Fortis BC, who are able to distribute it to energy customers.
"B.C. has enormous natural gas resource potential and opportunities for significant growth," said Energy and Mines Minister Rich Coleman. "Spectra's investment in this new facility is further evidence of industry's interest in our natural gas sector, and a major economic boost to the Peace Region."
"The natural gas sector continues to grow and become an integral part our province's economic future," said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and MLA for Peace River South Blair Lekstrom. "Producing the gas is important to our economy, but by processing it here as well, we will be able to provide more jobs for British Columbians. As Spectra clearly knows, the Peace area offers many opportunities for industry including a strong workforce and access to some of Canada's prime natural resources."
For the past year, the government of British Columbia has been building on the foundation of the BC Jobs Plan to increase economic opportunities throughout the province. A Natural Gas Strategy, released in February, commits B.C. to the growth and diversification of the natural gas sector so it will continue to support B.C. jobs and economic prosperity.
To learn more about British Columbia's natural gas sector, including the goal of developing a liquefied natural gas export industry, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/ener/natural_gas_strategy.html
Office of the Premier
Ministry of Energy and Mines