Monday, January 16, 2017

MP Nathan Cullen calls possible Petronas plans for shipping LNG out of Ridley a "good first step"

MP Nathan Cullen welcomes the idea
of a change for the Pacific NW LNG
project, but still has concerns
Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen has offered up his first thoughts on recent speculation that the Pacific NorthWest LNG project from Malaysia's Petronas may be giving some thought to shifting the shipment duties to a dock at Ridley Island.

As we outlined on the blog in December, word of the potential shift in design was first delivered by Blomberg Business, which cited Petronas officials familiar with the negotiations to a redesign related to the shipment aspect for the facility. Something which was noted would also have a side benefit of reducing the cost of the 27 billion dollar project.

The main change to the design would see the actual shipment dock removed from the Lelu Island location to Ridley Island, while the terminal would remain on Lelu, the need for a proposed suspension bridge crossing over Flora Bank would be abandoned in favour of a pipeline that would take the LNG to Ridley for shipment overseas.

The suggestion that Petronas might be considering that change was seen as a positive development by the NDP MP, however Mr. Cullen still has some concerns about the overall scope of the proposed terminal process.

NDP MP Nathan Cullen offered up some thoughts on the Pacific NorthWest LNG
project on Friday, issuing a statement on possible design changes
(fileimage from Parliament Hill)

In a statement released on Friday, the MP called the plan "a good first step" and outlined that while encouraged by the potential shift in design, there are still many issues to resolve when it comes to the proposed LNG terminal development and its footprint on the North Coast.

“I am encouraged that Petronas may finally be acknowledging the depth of opposition to the risk its project poses to irreplaceable salmon habitat and eelgrass beds at Flora Banks,”  ...  “a good first step” to addressing what some consider the project’s greatest environmental risks ...   however, a multitude of other Tsimshian and upriver concerns, as well as protection of all of Lelu Island, must be satisfied for area residents to agree to the project."

Mr. Cullen also observed as to how he believes industry should develop across the region, calling to mind some of his statements over the last few years for the need for Social Licence when it comes to industrial development in the region.

“Here in the Northwest, we know we don’t have to sacrifice our values or our salmon for good jobs,”  ... “Industries that want to set up shop in our backyard must understand and respect this.”

Petronas received Federal approval with conditions for their project in September and since that time has announced that they will be conducting a complete review of the project before deciding on any timetable for development should they move forward with their plans.

Despite that federal approval, the project is still proving to be a contentious one for some in the Northwest. Last week, members of the Gitxsan Nation became the fourth group in the region to file a court challenge to the project with the Courts inVancouver.

You can review the Pacific NorthWest file from our archive page here.

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