Comment: Malahat LNG plan includes extensive consultation

As the discussion about our proposed liquefied natural gas project takes shape, we’re seeing critics quoted who continue to make inaccurate claims about the project and about LNG itself.

All of us at Steelhead LNG believe in having a broad and energetic community conversation about our proposed project, and we’re certainly prepared to be challenged by those who have questions or concerns. However, we really hope it will be a discussion based on facts and science, and not on myths and misconceptions.

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In the interest of getting it right, I’d like to provide some important details about our proposed Malahat LNG project on the shoreline of the Malahat Nation-owned Bamberton industrial lands.

Together with the Malahat Nation, we are proposing to build a moderate-sized natural gas liquefaction and export facility. If the project moves forward, it would include floating liquefaction facilities moored to the shoreline and supporting land-based infrastructure. We’re working to submit a project description to regulators, which will initiate multi-year provincial and/or federal regulatory processes, including a rigorous environmental assessment for the proposed project.

Steelhead LNG is licensed to export LNG for 25 years. That’s a long-term commitment, and a big reason why we are working hard to build a project that’s right for the community, the region and the rest of B.C. Our proposed project will contribute to the community, care for the environment, put safety first and deliver long-term economic benefits for the region and the province.

The proposed location is an active industrial site that was a cement factory for more than 100 years and is currently being used as a rock quarry, and for off-loading industrial equipment and materials. It has a deep-water port and is located close to international shipping lanes, making it well suited for the LNG project.

We value the opportunity to work in collaboration with the Malahat Nation, who are exploring LNG as a way to realize their nation-building goals, create important economic, employment and training opportunities for its members, and generate revenue to support community programs.

The project would create significant economic benefits for about 30 years, including revenue generation through taxation for regional, provincial and federal governments. In addition, about 400 workers will be needed during peak construction, with about 200 well-paid, long-term positions at home on Vancouver Island for operations, as well as hundreds of additional indirect jobs in a wide variety of sectors that will provide goods and services during construction and operation.

At the same time, community engagement and consultation are as important to us as they are to the community. Announcing the proposed LNG project in advance of formally entering any regulatory processes has allowed us to focus on initiating engagement with aboriginal groups, the public and stakeholders to begin learning about community interests, issues and concerns. By gathering feedback at this early stage, we can work to identify concerns and interests in our project description and the actual design of the facility.

We understand that not everyone will be in favour of the project, and we respect the opinions of everyone involved. That said, we want to ensure that local communities are provided accurate and up-to-date information on the Malahat LNG Project, LNG itself and the LNG industry so that we can have frank and meaningful discussions over the coming months and years.

Like the rest of our team, I look forwarding to working with local communities and stakeholders in the days ahead.

Meanwhile, if anyone would like to receive updates and information on the proposed Malahat LNG Project, please email us at info@malahatlng.com.

 

Nigel Kuzemko is CEO of Steelhead LNG.

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