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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Qingdao Sinoenergy backs Alberta company's pitch for liquefied natural gas plant

EDMONTON - A Chinese firm is behind a new Alberta joint-venture company that wants to build a liquefied natural gas plant in the province.

Gascana AB Energy Ltd. was recently established by the Qingdao Sinoenergy Corporation of China and Calgary based-Petrox Resources.

Petrox said the goal is to build a plant that could produce close to 3,000 tonnes of LNG per day for export.

The Edmonton Economic Development Corp. is working with Gascana on the proposal and said the project could include other petrochemical and manufacturing plants worth more than $4 billion.

Brad Ferguson, president of the EEDC, said if all of the proposals go ahead, the gas plant and the other projects would create 2,000 permanent jobs.

Ferguson said the development would be built in three stages over five years.

"We are excited about it, but like other projects, there are a number of hurdles that you have to go through in order for it to become a reality," Ferguson said Monday.

"They have a long way to go. Our job is to work with them to make them successful."

Ferguson said the EEDC, which is owned by the City of Edmonton, would provide media and government relations advice to Gascana.

Officials with Gascana could not be reached for comment.

The EEDC said the proposal calls for the LNG plant to be built in an industrial park to be developed in Sturgeon County north of Edmonton.

The liquefied natural gas would be transported to market in rail cars to British Columbia for export to China.

The Alberta Energy Regulator, which reviews such proposals, has not received an application for the project.

— By John Cotter in Edmonton

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