The Douglas Channel project is facing a potential delay as the consortium behind the project appeals a tax imposed by Canadian customs on the import of its floating terminal, as reported by Reuters.
The $300 million floating terminal project, which was expected to go to final investment decision before the end of the year, is facing a 25% tariff.
“This is quite a significant price impact,” John Lowe, executive vice president of project partner Altagas, told reporters yesterday “We need to resolve this to reach FID.”
The consortium lost a challenge on the tax earlier this year. An appeal was filed in September, and if it fails, Lowe said it will seek further relief from the Canadian government.
The tariff exists “to protect Canadian industry, but there are no ship builders in Canada that build this kind of thing,” said Lowe. “So it’s a barrier for no useful purpose.”
The overall budget for the development is roughly $600 million.
As well, The Globe and Mail reported that the Squamish Nation Council has given ‘conditional approval’ to Woodfibre LNG’s planned cooling system in the Howe Sound, saying ‘the environmental risks can be managed if proper technology and controls are in place.
A big concern to the First Nation is the impact that warm chlorinated water would have on small fish in the Sound.
“We’ve seen this trend of revitalization in Howe Sound. If we’re going to allow further industrialization, we need to have mechanisms and assurances that the technology is the best available. The next step is the technical analysts to prove that the system won’t have an adverse impact,” Squamish Nation Chief Ian Campbell told the Globe and Mail on Wednesday.
This approval comes after they delayed a vote in July on whether Woodfibre LNG meets their environmental and cultural conditions.
And as the Vancouver Sun reported, Richard Wright told the newspaper the group within the Gitxan First Nation he represents will apply to the BC Supreme Court for a judicial review.
Wright told the Vancouver Sun they want to overturn the certificates and approval because the right people were not consulted.
“They’re not talking to the right people, the people who actually own the land,” Wright said to the newspaper.
Consultations took place with the Gitxsan Development Corp. during the environmental assessment for the project.
The Vancouver Sun says this case highlights the differences between the Gitxsan Treaty Society – which includes the development corporation who were consulted – and groups within the Gitxsan First Nation.
All of these announcements coincide with the first day of the LNG in BC conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
Mayor Lori Ackerman of Fort St. John is speaking today at the conference.