The Canadian Press

Victoria: Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says the creation of a liquefied natural gas industry offers a significant economic opportunity for British Columbia and Canada, which is why more time is needed to get it right.

McKenna has granted the federal environmental review agency an extra three months to review pollution-prevention plans for the proposed $36-billion Pacific NorthWest LNG export facility in northern B.C.

McKenna says in a statement today she wants to give the project developers, who are backed by Malaysian state-owned energy giant Petronas, more time to clarify its pollution-reduction and construction plans before she presents the project to the federal cabinet for approval.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency issued a draft report last month that concludes the plant can be built without major environmental impacts, but it’s now reviewing 34,000 public comments and new information provided by Pacific NorthWest LNG.

B.C. government officials have been dispatched to Ottawa to discuss and clarify project details with officials.

B.C.’s Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman says the project has the potential to create thousands of construction jobs and generate billions of dollars in revenues.