Tsawwassen First Nation to vote on LNG terminal

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The Tsawwassen First Nation will be voting on building an LNG export terminal south of Vancouver in December, according to the Globe and Mail.

Tsawwassen Chief Bryce Williams said they and FortisBC LNG Development Inc. have formed a join venture to explore the proposal for the terminal — for 5-6 tankers a month to load up with LNG at Roberts Bank marine site and be connected by pipeline to the terminal, should it be built.

“I’m kind of neutral on this. I’m still on the fence, you could say. I haven’t really taken a stance, and I want to educate the members and see which direction they’re leaning toward,” the elected chief told the Globe. “Whatever they decide, I will support. We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks.”

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Chief Williams attended a news conference in Delta with BC premier Christy Clark for another project — the $400 million Tilbury LNG expansion project by Fortis Holdings Inc. This is a separate endeavour from the proposed Tsawwassen LNG plant.

The joint venture would export three million to five million tonnes of LNG annually, starting in 2022.

The liquefaction process would be powered by electricity. Other members of the venture are NextEra Energy Canada and Mitsui & Co. Ltd.

Up to 1,000 construction jobs, and as many as 100 full-time positions in maintenance at the plant could be created by this project. “TFN is committed to ensuring best practices are used in every aspect of the supply chain,” the aboriginal group said. “The storage facility would link to a vessel-loading facility at Roberts Bank via a new pipeline.”

LNG Development in BC does face it’s share of obstacles. Factors like Asia’s weak LNG prices, global competition, and First Nation opposition have halted many of these proposals on the path to realization.

The Tsawwassen project would be the 21st LNG proposal in the province, if approved and voted in favour.

“Building this industry isn’t easy. It would never have been easy, but it’s certainly made harder by the fact that global prices have fallen,” said Premier Clark. “Nonetheless, we have leaders in our province, companies like Fortis, who are prepared to take on this challenge and make sure that we are exporting our clean LNG all over the world.”

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The BC Liberals campaigned hard to promote LNG’s prospects in the 2013 election, boasting that exports of the fuel would transform the provincial economy.

Members of the First Nation, located near Delta, are scheduled to vote on the plan on December 16th.

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