Nisga’a join in on LNG hunt

A NISGA’A Nation delegation is going to an international energy conference in Korea next month

  • Feb. 23, 2014 4:00 p.m.

A NISGA’A Nation delegation is going to an international energy conference and trade show in Korea next month, hoping to add its name to the list of those standing to benefit from B.C.’s potential liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.

The attraction is four locations on the north coast the nation either owns outright or which it would hope to bundle with adjacent provincial crown land to present a large enough parcel to contain a LNG facility.

The Nisga’a feel the locations are suitable not only for LNG plants  but they also provide plenty of room for the  tankers which would dock at the facilities to load the  super-cooled fuel for transport to Asian customers.

Two pipeline companies are already surveying land and marine routes through Nisga’a territory for two companies hoping to build LNG plants near Prince Rupert and Port Edward.

Other energy companies, Woodside from Australia and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, through a subsidiary, have taken out options on provincial Crown land at Grassy Point near Prince Rupert for plants of their own.

Nisga’a Lisims Government executive chair Kevin McKay says one of the keys to the Nisga’a proposal is that companies can avoid the cost of further land or marine pipeline construction south to the Prince Rupert area once those pipelines reach the Nisga’a-owned coastal locations from gas fields in northeastern B.C.

“The [2000] Nisga’a Final Agreement gives us unique opportunities,” said McKay of the ability of the Nisga’a to negotiate on land and other resources with companies. “With self government, we do have the wherewithal.”

The ability of companies to have certainty stemming from the treaty goes hand in hand with the treaty ensuring Nisga’a rights and interests are represented and protected, McKay said.

McKay acknowledged that the Nisga’a are on a steep learning curve considering there are now three LNG proposals centering on Kitimat with locations already established in addition to the two – and possibly more – locations in the Prince Rupert area.

“But that is our obligation, to learn more. We do feel there is a window of opportunity,” he said. “There are no final investment decisions yet and may the best proposal win on its merits.”

While that does bring out the competitive nature of doing business, McKay said the Nisga’a Final Agreement offers the Nisga’a Nation the opportunity to operate within a market economy.

“We have an obligation to pursue sustainable development for the Nisga’a Nation,” he said.

McKay did add that it is still too early to indicate what kind of economic arrangement the Nisga’a would strike with any particular LNG company.

The Haisla near Kitimat have already struck a deal with Chevron-majority owned Kitimat LNG to use Bish Cove, which is on Haisla reserve lands, as a plant and loading facility.

In return, the Haisla will be in line for a variety of economic benefits, including taxation and jobs.

They also have an equity share in a proposed small floating LNG facility in the Kitimat area.

Both proposals now have regulatory and environmental approval from the federal and provincial governments but final investment decisions have yet to be made.

And the Nisga’a are not the only ones looking to locate a LNG facility in their neighbourhood.

Kitsault Energy, a company owned by Krishnan Suthanthiran, who also owns the former mining town of Kitsault on Alice Arm north of the Nisga’a locations, is also looking for LNG customers.

Its sales pitch is similar to that of the Nisga’a in that a route to Kitsault from northeastern B.C. is shorter than to other coastal locations.

But instead of a land-based LNG facility, Kitsault LNG is marketing the Kitsault location as one suitable for a floating LNG plant.

The international energy gathering in Korea, being held in the country’s capital of Seoul, is called the 2014 Gastech Conference and Exhibition and is billed as the largest conference of its kind in the world.

Gastech is held every 18 months and this is the first time it has been held in Korea.

A prime sponsor of the event is Kogas, short for Korea Gas. It’s a partner with two other Asian companies and Shell Canada in a project called Canada LNG which has chosen Kitimat as a location.

Just Posted

Terrace SAR aims high for new headquarters

A huge financial grant will enable Terrace Search and Rescue to move… Continue reading

New Terrace squash court opens at Summit Square Apartments

For the first time in years, squash players will be able to play on weekends in Terrace

UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

Police encourage reporting of suspicious events following reports involving children

Terrace RCMP are asking the public to report any suspicious adult interactions… Continue reading

Soup kitchen sees “groundswell of community support”

Donations toward looming tax bill push non-profit back in the black

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Castlegar homicide victim identified

The victim was 38-year-old Jordan Workman of Castlegar, B.C.

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates get one last prime-time pitch

Leadership campaign to be decided in Feb. 3 vote

Andrew Scheer on trade, Trump and Trudeau

Canada’s Conservative leader begins three-day visit to B.C.

Victims restrained, sex toys and cash stolen from B.C. adult store

Armed suspects sought in adult store robbery

Vancouver Islanders ponder need for tsunami siren song

Alarm sounds in Port Alberni but not at the DND base in Esquimalt

Babcock, Goyette and Smyth honoured at Order of Hockey in Canada

Mike Babcock, from Saskatoon, guided the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup in 2008

Bell Canada alert prompts RCMP, privacy watchdog to probe data breach

Company spokesman: ‘Fewer than 100,000 customers were affected’

‘The tsunami alarm failed my household’: North Coast residents concerned over sirens, alerts

People living in northern communities share how they learned about Tuesday’s tsunami warning

Most Read