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B.C. Government signs benefits agreements with Lax Kw’alaams

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LNG Industry,


The Government of British Columbia (B.C.), Canada, has announced that it has signed a number of agreements with the Lax Kw’alaams Band to ensure that benefits accrue for First Nations as a result of the construction and operation of an LNG export industry in the Prince Rupert area.

Christy Clark, the Premier of B.C., said: “This is a major milestone for the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation and for British Columbia’s natural gas future.

“Building this new industry is an unprecedented opportunity to create jobs and economic prospects for British Columbians and these agreements ensure Lax Kw’alaams members will directly benefit from the industry’s growth.”

There are three main components of the agreements. These are a Lax Kw’alaams LNG benefits agreement, a coastal fund benefits agreement, and a pipeline benefits agreement.

The LNG benefits agreement will provide financial benefits, including a trust fund and capital for road improvements and infrastructure. A predetermined portion of the funds will be released from the trust upon Pacific NorthWest LNG’s (PNW LNG) final investment decision (FID). The remaining funds will be available once the construction of the facility commences. In addition to this, the agreement will also ensure that 1942 hectares of Crown land are transferred the Lax Kw’alaams Band.

Mayor John Helin, Lax Kw’alaams Band, said: “After many meetings and negotiation sessions, I feel pleased we are at this stage.

“We have the first of its kind environmental agreement and have a benefits package that will allow us to go a long way to address the needs of our members, should this project proceed.”

The coastal benefits agreement outlines ongoing benefits for the Lax Kw’alaams Band during export operations, including those related to PNW LNG, as well as any further LNG export facility that might be constructed in the Prince Rupert area.

Rich Coleman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Gas Development, said: “Building an LNG export industry is an economic boost for our entire province and this agreement solidifies a prosperous future for the Lax Kw’alaams Band.

“We are excited to partner with the Lax Kw’alaams Band to reach this significant milestone.”

Wan Badrul Hisham, Chief Project Officer, PNW LNG, added: “Working with the Lax Kw’alaams and our other First Nations partners is an important part of the legacy we’re working hard to build in northwestern British Columbia.

“This agreement represents the beginning of a decades-long journey of partnership and mutual respect between Pacific NorthWest LNG and the Tsimshian people.”

PNW LNG has also executed an impact benefits agreement with the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation. Specifically, the agreements cover:

 

  • Access to employment.
  • Training and capacity funding.
  • Financing for cultural support.
  • Participation in ongoing environmental monitoring.
  • First Nations business opportunities during the construction and operational phases of the project.
  • Yearly payments based on the LNG facility’s production.

 

In addition to this, the Lax Kw’alaams Band has signed an agreement regarding the connecting pipeline for PNW LNG – TransCanada’s Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Line.

John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, said: “These agreements provide important benefits for the Lax Kw’alaams Band to build on the opportunities created for them as part of the LNG industry’s development in our province.

“Collectively, these agreements strengthen the economic security of the Lax Kw’alaams Band for many decades.”

Tony Palmer, President of Prince Rupert Gas Transmission, added: “This is a significant milestone for PRGT, Lax Kw’alaams, Pacific NorthWest LNG and the Province of British Columbia. We’re very happy to be a part of this through our agreement with Lax Kw’alaams.

“These agreements are the product of strong engagement practices and years of collaboration.”

In January, B.C., the Government of Canada, the Lax Kw’alaams Band and the Metlakatla First Nation signed an Environmental Monitoring Committee Agreement outlining how all parties will collaborate to facilitate environmental oversight throughout the PNW LNG project lifetime. The project is located in the district of Port Edward, and is currently pending FID by Petronas and its venture partners (Sinopec, JAPEX, Indian Oil Corp. and PetroleumBRUNEI). A full evaluation of the project is being carried out by the partnership before any FID is taken.

Read the article online at: https://www.lngindustry.com/liquid-natural-gas/16022017/bc-government-signs-benefits-agreements-with-lax-kwalaams/


 

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