No “major showstoppers” were found during Steelhead LNG preliminary assessments and studies for the proposed LNG plant at Sarita Bay, said Tiffany Murray, manager of community for Steelhead LNG.
“That allows us to move into the next phase, the feasibility phase,” Murray told council during a special LNG meeting where she and Huu-ay-aht First Nations representatives presented their progress to council.
The feasibility phase will include environmental and technical studies on the impacts of the proposed $30 billion US facility.
“We have not submitted a project description into the [provincial] environmental assessment process,” Murray said, adding that Steelhead hopes to do that in 2015.
HFN executive director James Edwards emphasized the LNG industry’s tight regulations and clean 50-year safety record.
While Edwards said there were a “number of technically viable different routes” for a pipeline from northern B.C. where the natural gas would be extracted down to Sarita Bay, Murray added that the route was yet to be chosen.
“Nothing is finalized there,” she said but added that it was a key priority for 2015.
Speaking after the meeting, Murray said she didn’t anticipate issues with the pipeline going through various communities and First Nations lands due to Steelhead’s partnership with the Huu-ay-aht.
“One of the very first things” that Steelhead will do after a potential pipeline route and proponent is determined is consult with the nations whose land it will go through.
“The most important thing is making sure we have that positive engagement happening along the pipeline route.”
HFN and Steelhead will be holding a town hall meeting about the LNG project on Tuesday, March 31 from 5-7 p.m. at the Best Western Barclay. The session is free and open to the public.