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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Juno-nominated teen singer from Port Alberni to appear on ‘American Idol’

Lauren Spencer-Smith up for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year for ‘Unplugged, Vol. 1’

Vancouver poet to read at Alberni Valley Words on Fire

Cynthia Sharp was the City of Richmond’s 2019 Writer in Residence

Port Alberni homeowners wake up to would-be thief in their basement

Stolen items later found stashed at the end of the street

Shadow of Murder opens Feb. 21 at Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni

Classic whodunit comes from Canadian playwright Elizabeth Elwood

Do you talk to your spouse about money? 42% of Canadians don’t, poll suggests

Politics, sex, religion top list of taboo subjects for Canadians

Okanagan animal sanctuary seeks to fit frostbitten baby goat with prosthetic leg

Fundraiser started to help Zuri, newest resident of Twin Hearts Animal Sanctuary

UPDATE: Two killed in fiery collision on Highway 1 near Revelstoke

The Trans Canada Highway was closed for four hours

Father, two children killed after car goes over embankment on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

Comox Valley cat rescue organization hit by camera theft

“Someone is taking from an organization trying to help cats who are surviving in the wild.”

Trout ‘doing quite well’ at Kootenay hatchery after otters, who ate 150 fish, relocated

River otters had been pillaging a moat outside the facility for months, gobbling up about 150 trout

Most Read