CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - The Canadian unit of Malaysia's Petronas PETR.UL said on Friday it has asked regulators for a license to export nearly 20 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas a year from a C$11 billion ($10.4 billion) export facility it plans to build at the north end of British Columbia's Pacific Coast.
The company has applied to Canada's National Energy Board for the license, which would begin in 2019 and run for 25 years.
Petronas, which last year bought Canada's Progress Energy Resources Corp in a controversial C$5.2 billion deal that gave it shale-gas properties in northeastern British Columbia, is the latest company to seek approval for LNG exports from Canada's Pacific Coast.
Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) last month said it is asking for a license to ship as much as 30 million tonnes of LNG per year to Asian markets, while Chevron Corp (CVX.N), Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) and others already have permits in hand for projects they plan.
Petronas said it expects to make a final decision on whether to build its Pacific NorthWest LNG project by the end of next year.
"While we continue our work to reach a final investment decision in late 2014, we believe that our project has all of the key components of a successful, world-class LNG development," Greg Kist, president of Pacific NorthWest LNG, said in a statement.
Petronas, Malaysia's state-owned oil company, owns 90 percent of the project, while Japan Petroleum Exploration Co, or Japex (1662.T), holds the remainder.
Reporting by Scott Haggett; Editing by Peter Galloway