Business

Pacific NorthWest LNG files for environmental assessment

Pacific NorthWest LNG has filed its environmental assessment, with the public comment period kicking off today. - File photo
Pacific NorthWest LNG has filed its environmental assessment, with the public comment period kicking off today.
— image credit: File photo

The formal environmental assessment of Pacific NorthWest LNG's Lelu Island terminal kicked off last week with the company filing for the environmental impact statement and environmental assessment certificate.

The full document was posted to the BC Environmental Assessment Office website on March 25, with the public comment period beginning today  through to May 1. The online document is comprised of 58 PDF files covering everything from community health and economic impacts to archaeological and First Nations studies to potential impacts on the marine and terrestrial environment.

The filing is for a natural gas liquefaction facility capable of producing 19.2 million tonnes of LNG per year, complete with three LNG storage tanks capable of holding 180,000 cubic metres of LNG, three LNG trains capable of producing 6.4 million tonnes per year, a 2.7 kilometre trestle leading to the loading berths and gas turbines that produce up to 1,100 Megawatts of electrical power. The terminal would operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

Environmentally, Pacific NorthWest LNG indicates "the cumulative effect on air quality is not significant", that the terminal will release 5.28 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year to raise the province's greenhouse gas emissions by 8.5 per cent, and that light and sound impacts will not be significant.

While the report notes that "cumulative effects on direct mortality or physical injury are potentially high" for marine mammals, it said the effect is not significant because this injury or mortality is unlikely to happen as mammals will be driven away from the area by the underwater noise of piledriving.

The project description includes consideration of 680 permanent jobs being created by the terminal — with 260 direct employees, 140 direct-contract positions, 120 indirect positions and 160 induced positions — while 3,500 to 4,000 construction jobs would be created during the peak construction period. The majority of the construction workers would be housed in the construction camp on Lelu Island.

In terms of a timeline, the company hopes to begin site clearing and the construction of the access road and bridge to Lelu Island in the first quarter of 2015, building the construction camp in the second quarter of 2015 and beginning construction of the jetty-trestle and marine terminal in the third quarter of 2015. Construction of the initial two trains would begin in quarter three and quarter four of 2016, respectively, and all construction would be complete by the end of 2018. Operations at the site would begin in the first three months of 2019.

Anyone wishing to comment can email GNLPacificNorthwestLNG@ceaa-acee.gc.ca or phone 604-666-2431.

Look for more on this story in Friday's issue of the Northern Connector.

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