Steelhead LNG and the Huu-ay-aht First Nations (HFN) have signed an opportunity development agreement that will see them work together to explore developing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project on HFN-owned land at Sarita Bay, approximately 10 kms north of Anacla at the southern end of Alberni Inlet on Vancouver Island.
The project could represent a US$30 billion investment, creating hundreds of jobs and should the project go ahead, the facility would run for at least 25 years. The company applied for an export license for up to 30 million tonnes of LNG per year, dividing the Sarita Bay development into two 6 mtpa trains.
Steelhead LNG is currently working with pipeline companies to explore infrastructure options to deliver the gas from northern British Columbia to western Vancouver Island, and options for an additional 6.0 mtpa LNG export facility along a pipeline route.
The project, which is being overseen by a joint Steelhead LNG/ Huu-ay-aht First Nations Project Development Panel (PDP), represents a unique approach and an increased level of First Nations input and direction in an LNG project. The project will be subject to several comprehensive regulatory, environmental and technical assessments and will only proceed after extensive consultation with Huu-ay-aht citizens, including a vote on a possible land lease to the project at the Huu-ay-aht First Nations People’s Assembly in November, 2014. Port Alberni Port Authority, which signed a Protocol Agreement with HFN to collaborate towards achieving initiatives such as this proposed project, would continue to be involved with the port development, marine and shipping related aspects of the project.
In order to collect ongoing input and feedback from Huu-ay-aht First Nations citizens, as well as from other stakeholders, the PDP will put in place a number of community engagement initiatives including a community office in the Bamfield/Anacla and Port Alberni areas, a project website, Community Rounds (meetings) for HFN citizens, community meetings, and regular project updates. These consultations will begin before, and continue after, the 2014 HFN People’s Assembly.
Press Release, July 9, 2014; Image: Steelhead LNG