Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Aurora LNG outlines short and long term ambitions for Digby Island Terminal project

LNG was a theme for Monday
night's City Council session, with
Aurora LNG making a presentation
to City councillors

Prince Rupert City Council received a project update from representatives of Aurora LNG on Monday evening, as Andrew Hamilton and Jason Gouw from the LNG proponent sat in for a half hour overview of the progress of the terminal project proposed for Digby Island.

The main focus of their presentation was related background on the scope of the project which would feature an LNG processing plant that once operational sometime in the 2020's, would employ up to 400 employees on the southern tip of Digby Island.

The construction phase of the project development anticipated for later this decade, would see up to 5,000 workers required through the different phases of that process.

Though Aurora noted that a project of that size would need to also take in workers from outside of the North Coast, with plans to include a work camp on Digby Island to accommodate a significant portion of the construction work force.

As for the LNG operations, the first phase would see two LNG trains put in place providing for 12 million tonnes of LNG per year, with two storage tanks, a berthing facility, temporary and permanent liquefaction facilities and a material off loading facility all part of the property adjacent to Casey Cove.

A longer term vision would see the facility expand to double the output to 24 million tonnes, which would require four LNG trains and additional expansion in other elements of the Digby Island set up.

Council Members had a range of questions for the Aurora reps, with concerns on impacts to Prince Rupert's social and infrastructure pressures, with Councillors Cunningham and Thorkelson taking the lead for the majority of the question period.

Councillor Cunningham's focus was on issues related to labour involvement and the need to train local workers for jobs at the terminal, as well as a call for more engagement between the company and city officials.

Councillor Thorkelson's questions were directed towards some environmental notes, asking about studies on the city's airshed, she also had some key concerns over the proximity of the Terminal project to the city' airport facilities.

On that theme the Aurora representatives acknowledged that their proposed development would be one that is built closer to an airport than those that they have studied, however they also noted that they have worked with both Nav Canada and Transport Canada to determine that the LNG facility would work safely with the airport.

Mayor Brain made note of Aurora's own studies and reviews and called attention to the city's own planning for Major projects and its projections on shadow populations and impact of rapid growth on civic infrastructure. As part of his commentary, the Mayor offered up the suggestion that Aurora officials might be able to make use of the city's findings.

He also advocated for residents of Dodge Cove, offering up the suggestion that Aurora officials may wish to provide that community with some funding to assist their work during the environmental assessment process.

Aurora officials reviewed some background on their current status of conversation with the Dodge Cove representatives and also outlined an opportunity for Prince Rupert to share information with the Australian city of Gladstone, a community which has gone through a similar experience when it comes to development.

Mr. Gouw offered to serve as a facilitator for the city, to help put them in contact with the Council members from Gladstone to discuss the development process and how it impacted that community.

A more extensive overview of both the presentation and the comments from Council can be found on our City Council Timeline feature.

You can view the presentation from the City's YouTube archive, with the Aurora reps delivering their notes at the nineteen minute point of the session.

As Mr. Hamilton highlighted during the course of his presentation, the company will have a number of representatives at the Moose Hall tonight for an Open House, we outlined some of the background to the event tonight from our blog item of earlier this month.

For more notes related to the Aurora LNG project see our archive page here.

More background on City Council discussion topics can be reviewed from our archive page here.

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