Nisga’a Nation partners with gas companies to propose $10B LNG facility in B.C.

‘We expect controversy but we are going to engage in talks now,’ says Nisga’a President Eva Clayton

The Nisga’a Nation have a proposal to build a $10-billion liquified natural gas export facility, complete with a pipeline, ready to go in northern British Columbia.

The facility would be built on Nisga’a treaty land 80 kms north of Prince Rupert and would connect wells in the northeast to the coast for export to Asian markets, though there is still a long road ahead before construction can begin.

“It’s in its infant stages,” said Nisga’a President Eva Clayton.

The nation has partnered with a Calgary-based group of LNG companies called Rockies LNG and Texas-based Western LNG.

The group filed a project description notice with the B.C. and federal governments as part of the first phase of the project, with ongoing stakeholder consultation expected.

The project, called Ksi Lisims LNG after the Nisga’a name for the Nass River, is being touted as a low-cost source of LNG, which will also serve to economically support the First Nation.

With climate change now a reality, the Nisga’a recognize the need for mitigation of damage to the environment but can’t pass up what promises to be a lucrative deal.

“We estimate $55 billion in benefits,” said Clayton.

But the business of LNG in B.C. is tricky. There have been nearly 20 proposals with only one in construction.

Nisga’a neighbours have proven opposition to LNG can be fierce. Both Wet’suwet’en and Tsimshian people opposed to mega projects in their traditional lands and put their bodies on the line, sometimes facing violent arrests.

“We expect controversy but we are going to engage in talks now,” said Clayton.

—With files from the Canadian Press

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