Thursday, December 18, 2014

Metlakatla and Pacific NorthWest LNG sign Benefit agreement on impact of LNG

Employment opportunities, training development and financial benefits are some of the key points in an agreement announced today between the Metlakatla Governing Council and Pacific NorthWest LNG.

The terms of the agreement sheet outline a number of the benefits that will be delivered to Metlakatla over a period of forty years, should the proposed Lelu Island project move forward to development.

By signing the term sheet and providing a letter of support towards the Lelu Island project, Metlakatla will be receiving an initial payment as part of the overall agreement in place.

And while the bulk of the terms of agreement remain in confidence, Pacific Northwest LNG identified five main aspects of the agreement that will provide opportunities and support for the Metlakatla community.

Access to employment
Training and capacity development
Financing for Cultural Support
Lump sum annual payments based on the number of LNG trains in operation
Metlakatla participation in ongoing environmental monitoring

Chief Harold Leighton of Metlakatla offered up some thoughts regarding what the Metlakatla Governing Council took into consideration during the negotiations, before reaching the agreement.

“We have weighed the potential benefits, with the impacts of the terminal proposed for Lelu Island and have worked to negotiate the best agreement for Metlakatla,” ... “Metlakatla has arrived at an agreement with Pacific NorthWest LNG that will benefit our members for the lifetime of the project.”

The agreement was put together after extensive negotiations between Pacific NorthWest LNG, the Province of British Columbia and Melakatla's Development Corporation and Stewardship office, with a good portion of the focus of the negotiation directed to resolving outstanding environmental and economic concerns.

Towards the environmental concerns the Metlakatla Stewardship Program identified the nature of their interest in the agreement.

 “Metlakatla has worked on the environmental assessment of this project from the beginning, and we will continue to hold Pacific NorthWest LNG to a high standard of environmental care,”...“We have ensured they are committed to working with us on our outstanding issues.” -- Ross Wilson, Director of the Metlakatla Stewardship Program

Pacific NorthWest LNG President Michael Culbert heralded today's announcement as an example of the kind of dialogue that the company is working towards as it moves forward with its project.

“Pacific NorthWest LNG would like to commend and thank Metlakatla leadership and staff for the time and effort that led to today’s announcement,” ...“This agreement exemplifies the constructive dialogue we have engaged in to-date and what can happen when we work together to achieve common goals.”

You can review the full account of today's announcement from this item from the Pacific NorthWest LNG website. The view from Metlakatla can be found from this media release.

It's the second major agreement that Pacific NorthWest has concluded in recent days, on Monday we highlighted the details of the arrangement between the company and the District of Port Edward.

The announcements are yet another benchmark in one of the most anticipated projects on the North Coast off late.

However, the timeline for development has yet to be set, as the company continues to examine the key elements of moving the project forward towards development.

Earlier this month, Petronas the parent company of Pacific NorthWest LNG deferred their Final Investment Decision into the new year, it is expected to announce that decision sometime in early 2015.

For more items related to the Pacific NorthWest LNG proposal see our archive page here.

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