VANCOUVER, BC (October 2, 2015) – The National Energy Board (NEB) has approved Steelhead LNG’s applications for five licences to export in the aggregate up to 30 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year for 25 years from its two proposed LNG projects on Vancouver Island. The NEB decision is subject to approval of the Governor in Council.
One licence to export up to 6 million tonnes of LNG for 25 years is allocated to Malahat LNG, the proposed floating liquefaction and export LNG terminal adjacent to Malahat Nation land, eight kilometres south of Mill Bay, B.C. The other four licences, to export in the aggregate up to 24 million tonnes of LNG per year for 25 years, are allocated to the proposed LNG project Steelhead LNG is exploring with the Huu-ay-aht First Nations on Huu-ay-aht land at Sarita Bay, 75 km southwest of Port Alberni on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
“We welcome this decision by the National Energy Board, which represents a significant milestone for our company and our projects,” said Nigel Kuzemko, CEO, Steelhead LNG. “We’ve made tremendous strides in progressing our projects over the past year, including our announcement of Malahat LNG, our agreement with Williams subsidiary Northwest Pipeline LLC to commence with the design and approval process for a proposed natural gas pipeline to Vancouver Island, and our agreement with Höegh LNG, for Höegh LNG and Bechtel to perform the pre-front end engineering and design work for Malahat LNG.”
“While these developments and the regulatory approval by the NEB are being well received in the global LNG marketplace, we recognize that we are still at the beginning of a long process that will see us engage and work closely with First Nations, government, communities, residents and regulators to secure the environmental and regulatory approvals we need for our projects to continue to move forward.”
Steelhead LNG and the Malahat Nation announced the proposed Malahat LNG project on August 20, 2015, along with the successful completion of a Mutual Benefits Agreement and Long-Term Lease. The proposed project would include floating liquefaction facilities moored to the shoreline and supported by minor land-based facilities. The project’s significant economic impact would include up to 30 years of revenue generation, from construction to operation to decommissioning, for local, provincial and federal governments, along with the creation of up to 200 high-paying long-term positions once the facility is operational. The project would also create hundreds of additional indirect jobs on Vancouver Island in a wide variety of sectors, as well as specific training and employment opportunities.
“Today’s approval is exciting news, as it represents one of many steps in the process ahead for Malahat LNG and the proposed Steelhead LNG facilities on Malahat Nation lands,” said Lawrence Lewis, Chief Executive Officer, Malahat Nation. “This proposed project represents a significant opportunity for Malahat Nation to demonstrate and exercise its inherent right to self-determination, the protection of its aboriginal rights and title, and a meaningful role in environmental stewardship and reclamation of the marine resource so important to its people.”
The proposed LNG project at Sarita Bay, which is in the feasibility stage, is also projected to create hundreds of direct local jobs from construction to operation to decommissioning. Once operational, hundreds of additional spin-off jobs and business opportunities in the region will be created in the hospitality, recreation, tourism, transportation, security and other service sectors. In November 2014, Huu-ay-aht citizens voted in favour of continuing to explore developing the project at their People’s Assembly.
“These export licences represent another positive step forward,” said Robert Dennis, Elected Chief Councillor, Huu-ay-aht First Nations. “Our Nation will continue to work closely with Steelhead LNG and is committed to keeping our Ḥaw̓iih (Hereditary Chiefs) and citizens informed throughout the process.”
On September 1, 2015, Steelhead announced a Pre-Construction Agreement with Williams (NYSE: WMB) subsidiary Northwest Pipeline LLC. to commence with the design and regulatory approvals for a proposed natural gas pipeline (the Island Gas Connector Project) that would deliver Canadian natural gas to Vancouver Island. On September 23, 2015, Steelhead announced an agreement with Höegh LNG, for Höegh LNG and Bechtel to perform the pre-front end engineering and design work for Malahat LNG.