TransCanada has completed benefit agreements with all 20 elected First Nation bands along its Coastal GasLink pipeline route from Dawson Creek to Kitimat.

The pipeline would feed the Shell-led LNG Canada gas plant should it go ahead, with TransCanada saying it’s ready to build.

There has been heightened anticipation recently that LNG Canada is gearing up to make a final investment decision on the up-to $36-billion export terminal in Kitimat.

The company has announced major contracts and has been doing more groundwork in Kitimat, including dredging to deepen a shipping berth. The project also awaits a federal decision on whether major steel-fabricated components for the LNG plant can be shipped tariff-free from China, possibly as early as this month.

At the Union of B.C. Municipalities annual convention on Friday, B.C. Premier John Horgan said he believed the project was close to a positive decision.

TransCanada spokeswoman Jacquelynn Benson said all valid permits were in place for the 650-kilometre $4.7 billion pipeline, necessary fieldwork had been completed and contractors had been hired.

“We’re in a great position to move forward if LNG Canada does decide to make a final investment decision,” Benson said.

She would not provide details of the benefit agreements and would not say if they included revenue sharing of the pipeline’s profits.

Benson instead pointed to an announcement in July that TransCanada had conditionally awarded $640 million in contracting and employment opportunities to northern B.C. Indigenous businesses.

Shell, which leads the LNG Canada consortium of international investors made up of Petronas, PetroChina, Mitsubishi and Korea Gas, has said a final investment decision would be made before the end of 2018.

Widespread First Nation support in northern B.C. of a new liquefied natural gas export business is in stark contrast to opposition of Enbridge’s now-cancelled $7.4-billion Northern Gateway oil pipeline meant to tap into new markets in Asia.

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Source:: Vancouver Sun – Business


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