Petronas, the Malaysian oil and gas giant behind a planned multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas plant in Prince Rupert, is increasing its footprint in downtown Vancouver.
Pacific NorthWest LNG, a consortium led by Petronas, confirmed that it has leased two floors of office space at the 35-storey Park Place tower at 666 Burrard Street. That gives the company a total of 34,000 square feet.
The lease was signed in late 2015, said PNW LNG spokesman Spencer Sproule.
“We are currently doing renovations and looking to move in before the end of Q1,” he said.
The two floors will accommodate up to 75 staff. About 40 currently working out of 1066 West Hastings will move into Park Place when renovations are complete.
The company’s expansion in Vancouver may go some way to allaying fears that Petronas and its partners might pull the plug on the PNW LNG project, which has a total estimated capital cost of between $40 billion and $50 billion. The LNG plant in Prince Rupert alone has a capital cost of approximately US$11 billion.
Fears were raised recently that Petronas might defer the project, after the Wall Street Journal obtained an internal memo that indicates Petronas is planning to cut capital spending by US$11 billion in response to falling revenue from low oil prices.
But Petronas has several multibillion-dollar projects on the drawing board, and some industry insiders speculate the company might simply spread the cuts across a number of projects, rather than shelve an entire project.
Last week, Petronas’ new CEO, Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, told Bloomberg News the company remains committed to capital spending of US$80 billion over the next five years.
Petronas has already made a conditional final investment decision on the PNW LNG project.