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Can we really expect 100,000 jobs from the LNG sector?

Pacific NorthWest LNG’s marine terminal (Source: Pacific Northwest LNG Facebook)

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives suggests government projection of 100,000 jobs from LNG sector is too optimistic

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Premier Christy Clark campaigned on a promise the liquefied natural gas industry would provide 100,000 jobs for BC.

But new research suggests those projections may be far too optimistic.

In a new Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report, senior economist Marc Lee says BC’s 100,000 jobs figure is based on five LNG plants being built in the province.

So far, there is only one deal on the table, the one being finalized this week with Malaysia’s Petronas.

“The reality is that most industry analysts only expect one or maybe two plants will eventually get built. But even if you assumed five, you still don’t get anywhere close to 100,000 [jobs],” says Lee.

Lee calls the 100,000 jobs claim a “manufactured” statistic leftover from the 2013 provincial election campaign. He claims claims the real number is just a fraction of that.

“For example…Petronas would, over a three-year construction period create 2,000 to 3,000 jobs but once it’s built, on an operational basis, only 200 to 300 long-term jobs.”

He believes realistic figures for the industry as a whole are probably closer to 4,500 during construction and then 1,000 to 1,500 permanent jobs after that.