Lax Kw’alaams First Nations to debate Pacific Northwest LNG dock location

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PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. – The Lax Kw’alaams First Nations’ elected band council will be asking its members in the near future to debate where the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG project’s docking facilities should be located.

The consortium, backed by Malaysian state-owned Petronas, hopes to build an $11.4-billion LNG export terminal on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert. TransCanada is lined up to build the $5-billion Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline that will send natural gas from the B.C. Peace Region to the island.

The Globe and Mail is reporting that a notice was posted on the Lax Kw’alaams band’s website, which stated that, “The Lax Kw’alaams band is holding a series of community engagement meetings to provide an update on the Pacific NorthWest LNG project.” The notice said that the topic of the meetings will be “the potential relocation of the proposed PNW marine terminal to Ridley Island, and the progress with concluding agreements with PNW, PRGT, the provincial and the federal governments.”

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Pacific NorthWest recently announced that it was considering moving the proposed terminal docking facility from Agnew Bank off Lelu Island to the waters of Chatham Sound west of Ridley Island. The facility’s liquefaction terminal would remain on Lelu Island.

On Wednesday, B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman paid their first visit to the community of Lax Kw’alaams, whose members are divided over the energy project.

In 2014, Pacific NorthWest LNG ruled out the Ridley Island dock option, which would have meant building an underwater pipeline from Lelu Island to Ridley Island, and constructing a pier carrying a separate pipeline from Ridley Island to Chatham Sound.

Lax Kw’alaams Mayor John Helin and several other band councillors say that they’re eager to re-examine the consortium’s less-expensive Ridley Island option. That relocation would place the two shipping berths farther away from ecologically sensitive Flora Bank, a sandbar visible at low tide and located next to Lelu Island.

Story courtesy The Globe and Mail:

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