A flurry of activity in a remote Canadian town is raising optimism that Royal Dutch Shell Plc and its partners are ready to go ahead with the nation’s largest infrastructure project: a C$40 billion ($30 billion) liquefied natural gas terminal that could at last unlock energy exports to Asia.
The action is unmistakable in Kitimat, British Columbia, the Pacific coast city hugging a deep inlet that would be the closest launch point on the continent for LNG cargoes to Asia. The lights are on, shades open and SUVs parked outside a 49-unit apartment complex built to house Shell executives, which sat mostly darkened for the last two years. Local workers have left jobs at a Rio Tinto Plc smelter nearby to join contractors ramping up for the LNG project. Landlords are raising rents and houses are selling twice as fast as they used to in anticipation of a flood of workers coming to town.