Thursday, October 27, 2016

Project benchmarks the key to Pacific NorthWest LNG presentation to City Council

Tessa Gill and Derek Baker from
Pacific NorthWest LNG appeared
at Prince Rupert Council on Monday
with an update on the proposed projec
One of the most discussed proposals for the North Coast in recent years was once again on the Agenda for Prince Rupert City Council on Monday night, with Tessa Gill and Derek Baker on hand for the night to provide an update on the path of the Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal project so far.

Derek Baker carried the bulk of the presentation to Council on the night, noting some of the milestones that Pacific NorthWest LNG has reached with their project.

Starting with some background on the path towards their recently gained Federal Environmental Approval. He noted that the company has successfully incorporated many of the contributions from the public into their mitigation notes on the project.

Mr. Baker called attention to the 190 legally binding conditions that make up the Environmental Approval process and how it demonstrates that the project can proceed on Lelu Island without significant adverse affect to fish population and fish habitat.

He then turned towards the future prospects for the project, noting the need to address those 190 conditions and receive the range of permits before construction can take place.

Baker also examined the issue of Financial viability of the project, providing a look at some of the factors that Pacific NorthWest LNG's shareholders are considering at this time, including the market conditions today and projections for the future.  He noted that while they have announced an Conditional investment decision in the summer of 2015 for the project, there have also been some significant changes in the markets since then. 

He outlined how the project and its shareholders are taking the opportunity to take some time to conduct a complete review of the project, examining the conditions and the global markets to ensure that it is a viable project.

The process of decision making for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project
was outlined for Council on Monday evening

While the LNG market has softened in recent months, the long term forecast
for Supply and Demand worldwide is a bit more positive

Among some of the elements of the 190 conditions that the company explored for Council were the areas of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Air Quality issues, Report generation, mitigation requirements and issues of eutrophication. A look at fish and fish habitat and the conditions required on that theme was also provided, with such mitigations as bubble curtains designed to dampen noise in the waters nearby during the construction phase.

Mr. Baker also made note of the Environmental monitoring process that will be conducted by two local First Nations as part of the project development phase.  

"Another important condition is the creation of an environmental monitoring committee, this committee will be made up of the Metlakatla, the Lax Kw'alaams, the Provincial and Federal governments. This is important, this is the first time that an agreement of this nature puts the environmental authority in the hands of a First Nation, or Local First Nations in this case  ... In addition to this there will be environmental monitors who will be in the field all around the construction activities and they will be monitoring the environmental conditions, those individuals will have the authority to direct the project to stop, or to implement additional mitigations if they have any reason, any justified reason to do so."

Two local First Nations will be participating in the Independent Environmental
Monitoring process for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project

Another area that was examined was the approach Pacific NorthWest LNG will bring to Socio-Economic Effects Management for the region and how they will develop mitigations, looking at such areas as health care services, and how they engage with local government, Aboriginal groups and social agencies. He noted that Pacific NorthWest officials have been meeting with the City of Prince Rupert on these issues since the approval was granted. 

The approach towards community engagement was explored as well, with a snapshot of the work of the company to this point, with Mr. Baker issuing an invitation for members of the public with questions or concerns to stop into their offices. He also paid tribute to the recent Redesign Rupert Recharge event and noted that it was an initiative that Pacific NorthWest was very excited in being a contributor towards and participant with that kind of engagement with the broader community.

One final look at the next steps for the project brought the presentation to an end, with members of Council then offering up a few questions on a range of themes.

Councillor Cunningham inquired as to the nature of the testing if any in the area of the city's drinking water and items related to greenhouse gas issues. 

Mayor Brain then suggested that the company representatives might want to explain the monitoring process when it comes to greenhouse emissions.

Ms. Gill outlined the ratios and requirements that the Pacific NorthWest project will have to meet as outlined by the province of British Columbia, noting that the submissions will be independently verified.

She also addressed a question from Councillor Cunningham related to Air Shed issues related to the project and whether the company has any plans in the future to switch from gas turbines to electric; she advised him that any future expansion would address the issue as to the reliable options available at the time.

On the question that is on the minds of most residents of the region, Councillor Randhawa inquired as to any timeline that might be in mind by Pacific NorthWest LNG when it comes to delivering any Final Decision to move ahead with the project

On that theme, there were no new developments to report, as Mr Baker had little new information to share with Council.

"To date our shareholders haven't provided a specific timeline, other than to say that they are going to take some time now to review all aspects of the integrated project. So I can't personally speculate on what sort of timeline might be there and our shareholders haven't identified one for us either"

To bring the presentation to an end, Mayor Brain noted that the City is still engaged in discussions with Pacific NorthWest LNG over an impacts benefits agreement on a range of topics and that process will continue into the future.

The full discussion can be reviewed from the City's Video archive starting at the fifteen minute mark.

An extended look at the discussion from Monday evening can be found on our City Council Timeline here.

There are more items of interest on the Pacific NorthWest LNG project available on our archive page.

For more items related to Prince Rupert City Council see our Discussion Archive page here.

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