VANCOUVER (Reuters) - The Canadian government has approved TransCanada Corp's proposed C$1.7 billion ($1.38 billion) North Montney Mainline natural gas pipeline that would connect natural gas fields in northern British Columbia with a Pacific Coast export terminal.
The North Montney line would feed into a second new pipeline, the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission line, that would serve an $11 billion liquefied natural gas export terminal, called the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, proposed by state-owned Malaysian energy company Petronas [PETR.UL].
The federal natural resources department announced the North Montney approval late on Wednesday.
In April, the Canadian regulator, the National Energy Board (NEB), recommended that North Montney, which has interprovincial connections, be approved subject to 45 conditions, including those to related to engineering, aboriginal consultation and environmental impact.
The North Montney and the Prince Rupert lines are vital to Petronas's plans to export natural gas from Canada to energy hungry clients in Asia. British Columbia's provincial government approved the Prince Rupert line last year. It does not require federal approval.
Separately, TransCanada said the NEB had approved its C$220 million King's North Connection project, which is part of its Canadian Mainline expansion project.
Reporting by Julie Gordon; Editing by Peter Galloway