Kwispaa LNG an opportunity for Huu-ay-aht First Nations

Co-management with Steelhead LNG is history-making

Huu-ay-aht First Nations citizens made history last year by becoming the first Nation in British Columbia to approve the co-managed development of a liquefied natural gas facility on their traditional territory.

On Monday, Jan. 8, members from both Huu-ay-aht First Nation and Steelhead LNG were in Port Alberni council chambers to provide more information about the Kwispaa LNG project.

The proposed natural gas liquefaction and export facility was given the go-ahead after a community referendum resulted in a 70 percent vote in favour in March 2017. The positive vote meant that Steelhead LNG, a Canadian company based out of Vancouver, would develop the LNG project through a co-management relationship with the Huu-ay-aht.

Carol Greaves, the community relations lead at Steelhead LNG, explained that the facility will export approximately 24 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas per year, which will be largely transported overseas to countries such as China and India, to offset coal production. The feed gas for the facility will be Canadian natural gas from northeastern British Columbia and northwestern Alberta.

A pipeline, expected to span 1,000 km, will transport this gas to the Kwispaa LNG facility. Steelhead plans to use about 500 km of existing right-of-ways for this pipeline.

“We are working hard to create a project that delivers value to the community,” said Greaves on Monday.

The facility will not be a land-based facility, but an at-shore facility, meaning it will be moored to jetties in the water to reduce the environmental impact.

Greaves added that Steelhead hopes to spend the rest of this year working on the final front end engineering and design work, with the first cargo delivered in 2024. An environmental assessment still needs to be completed.

“We’re at the very early stages of this project,” said Greaves.

For members of Huu-ay-aht, the co-managed project is a step towards reconciliation.

Chief Councillor Robert Dennis Sr. explained that the Huu-ay-aht have taken great strides in economic development since signing a treaty to become self-governing in 2011. “We’re attempting to rebuild our nation,” said Dennis. “We’re attempting to rebuild our status that we once had. We’re attempting to reconcile…to restore the heart of our people.”

He explained that Huu-ay-aht First Nation is in an ideal co-management position, with a facility that is entirely within their territory, and a Project Oversight Board that will consist of three members of Huu-ay-aht and three members of Steelhead LNG.

“We have the support of our people, we have the support of our hereditary chiefs and we have the support of our council for this project,” said Dennis.

Jeff Cook, a Huu-ay-aht First Nation ha’wiih (hereditary chief), added that the project will create meaningful employment, not only for the Nation, but for local communities. He summarized that there will be up to 2,000 construction jobs available during the construction of the facility, as well as up to 400 direct long-term jobs during its operation.

“There’s a huge impact if we carry this forward,” he said.

The purpose of the delegation on Monday was simply to provide information about Kwispaa LNG, so council did not make any formal motion of support for the project.

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Lack of security: why Vancouver Island food production is on the decline

Big Read: agriculture a big, expensive commitment as advocates push to make us more food secure

Port Alberni campground featured in BC Ferries Vacations

China Creek Campground in the Alberni Valley will be highlighted as part… Continue reading

City of Port Alberni puts money into park improvements

Roger Creek, Blair parks receiving upgrades this spring, summer

City of Port Alberni ponders social development

Social planning commission would outlast councils

UPDATED: Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations ready to negotiate for fishing rights

Nations call on federal gov’t to settle fishing rights ‘within the true meaning of reconciliation’

VIDEO: Moose found licking salt off B.C. man’s pickup truck

Tab Baker was in his garage in Prince George when the small moose gave his truck a clean

New spill response bases on hold as pipeline paused

Future of six new bases, 125 jobs, on Vancouver Island in limbo over Kinder Morgan decision

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

B.C. VIEWS: Eliminating efficiency for farm workers

Don’t worry, NDP says, the B.C. economy’s booming

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

B.C. parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

Most Read