The Huu-ay-aht First Nation are headed into stage two of their proposed LNG facility at Sarita Bay. The Huu-ay-aht, who are partnering with Steelhead LNG for the $30 billion project, presented an update to the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District directors last month.
“With the positive vote of the Huu-ay-aht people the project’s moved into the second stage,” Huu-ay-aht executive director James Edwards said, adding that “all the baseline environmental studies are being contemplated or will be underway very shortly and the environmental [assessment] certificate will probably be filed within the next 12 months.”
Edwards emphasized the benefits of partnering with Steelhead LNG.
“We found there was a good fit… [Steelhead] bring a full set of experience throughout the value chain… and they come a with a real partnership attitude,” Edwards said, adding that the Huu-ay-aht see that as an enormous positive. Steelhead LNG is also B.C.-based, something that Edwards said “provides both corporate and provincial alignment.”
Edwards also spoke about the jobs—mainly professional, skilled and semi-skilled—that the facility would create, both during construction and afterwards.
“As a mega-capital project it’s estimated that 3000-4000 construction jobs would be employed in the creation of the facility.”
There will also be indirect jobs created due to the project.
“One of the best analogies that we have in terms of indirect jobs is that if you have 4,000 workers, every morning they get up and every worker has two eggs for breakfast. That’s 8,000 eggs everyday. Where do you get the eggs and how do they get to site?
“Now you’ve got a farm and you’ve got trucks and you begin to see some of the related businesses that go into this size of an operation.”
Answering a query from Mayor Mike Ruttan as to what could be done to prepare people here to take fill those positions, Edwards said that they were “in the process of developing a memorandum of understanding with North Island College to increase the number of trade seats available here.”
He acknowledged that while the project will likely need workers from all over B.C., they’re committed to making sure as many of the jobs as possible go to locals.
Edwards also reassured directors that after the site was decommissioned it would be returned to a greenfield as a minimum standard. The Steelhead LNG lease of the land is currently for 25 years, although Edwards said that the LNG facility could operate for longer.
The final investment decision for the proposed LNG facility will happen in 2018. Edwards said that shovels would likely go into the ground on site within a month or two.
Edited: to change the correct number of eggs consumed to 8,000 per day.