Project officials say the regulator’s approval makes the Bear Head LNG project the first of its kind to be granted such authorization in Eastern Canada.
Bear Head LNG applied to amend an existing construction permit to allow it to build its facility near Point Tupper, Richmond County, at an estimated cost of $2 billion to $8 billion.
The project has already received nine of 10 initial Canadian federal, provincial and local regulatory approvals.
The remaining initial Canadian approval is an updated and amended registration document that project proponents say will soon be filed with the provincial Environment Department.
Under a previous owner, the board gave the Bear Head project a construction permit in 2005. The facility was partially constructed on the Strait of Canso and has been kept in a hot-idle state since 2008.
According to its manager, John Godbold, the Bear Head project aims to be the first in Canada to export liquefied natural gas. The plan is for it to be in commercial operation by 2019.
Once constructed, it will have an initial production capacity of eight million tonnes per year of exportable liquefied natural gas.