$3.28-billion Indigenous-led LNG project gets B.C. environmental certificate

$3.28-billion Indigenous-led LNG project gets B.C. environmental certificate
B.C. Environment and Climate Change Strategy Minister George Heyman speaks during an announcement in Delta, B.C., on Monday, June 29, 2020.

The Haisla First Nation on British Columbia’s northern coast has been granted a provincial environmental assessment certificate for a floating liquefied natural gas facility.

The B.C. government says the nation, in partnership with Pembina Pipeline Corp., proposes to use electricity to operate the LNG facility and export terminal.

The $3.28-billion terminal will be supplied with natural gas from the Coastal GasLink pipeline, which is still under construction.

A statement from the province says Environment Minister George Heyman and Energy Minister Josie Osborne made their decision after considering a report by the Environmental Assessment Office.

The ministers say in a joint statement that the project takes “all possible measures currently available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the lowest feasible level.”

The ministers say they agreed that the Cedar LNG project also supports reconciliation with the Haisla Nation, and that they received letters of support or no opposition from several surrounding First Nations.

Ellis Ross, the Skeena member of the legislature and a former chief councillor for the Haisla, says the Indigenous-owned project is one of the greatest examples of economic reconciliation in the province.

LNG Canada is also building a terminal nearby in Kitimat’s port for the liquefaction, storage and export of LNG.

The government release says the Cedar LNG project will have an expected export capacity of three million tonnes a year, employing 500 people during construction and 100 people when it’s in operation.

Crystal Smith, the chief councillor for the Haisla Nation, says the announcement is a historic step toward their economic self-determination.

“Together with our partner Pembina Pipeline, we are setting a new standard for responsible and sustainable energy development that protects the environment and our traditional way of life.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 14, 2023. 

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