Two senior members for Chevron Canada on the Kitimat LNG project met with the Village of Burns Lake council during the council meeting April 22, to discuss the next step, and possible future plans for the pipeline in Burns Lake.
David Molinski, policy and external affairs lead for Chevron Canada on the Kitimat LNG and Marc Douglas, senior advisor at Chevron Canada met with Mayor Strimbold and the rest of council to present Chevron Canada’s plan going forward for the pipeline.
Among the topics discussed were the building of the work camps around Burns Lake, as well as, how construction would affect the surrounding area and the people who use the area to hunt, as well as what the influx of people would mean for the community businesses in Burns Lake.
Currently, Chevron Canada is at the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) stage.
What this means, according to Gillian Robinson Riddell, external communications officer for Chevron Canada on the Kitimat LNG, is that Chevron is trying to increase certainty around the cost of the project.
“The FEED stage is the process where we are looking closely at the design, construction and process of building the project in order to increase certainty around costs and execution schedules before we proceed to making a Final Investment Decision,” Robinson Riddell said.
A firm date hasn’t been set for a Final Investment Decision.
Chevron Canada is still waiting for a number of factors to fall into place, such as further fiscal framework details from the provincial government, securing further First Nations support and have firm LNG marketing agreements in place.
At this stage, Chevron has entered into a partnership with 15 different First Nations, including the Burns Lake Band, Wet’sunwet’en, Nee-Tahi-Buhn, Skin Tyee, Steilat’en First Nation and Nahleh Whut’en First Nation.
This partnership is a First Nations Limited Partnership agreement (FNLP), and it includes opportunities for job and skills training among other things.
“The FNLP is a commercial business agreement,” Robinson Riddell said, “benefits for all 15 First Nations who have joined the FNLP agreement include jobs and skills training, direct access to the economic benefits of the project and financial benefits over the life of the project as a commercial partner in the proposed Pacific Trail Pipeline.”
Robinson Riddell also states that as partners, First Nations will have significant roles in design, operations, environment and cultural monitoring during construction and operation of the pipeline when it’s finished.
Molinski and Douglas met with council to answer questions about how this stage and the on going development of the pipeline would affect Burns Lake.
Specifically, Mayor Strimbold wanted to ensure that pipeline construction wouldn’t affect the hunting season that takes place in and around the area where the work camps and pipeline construction would be built and take place, as well as wanting to know how Burns Lake stands to benefit has a community.
Molinski was able to assure council that Chevron Canada would work with people that use the area for recreation and ensure that everyone was fully aware of the situation.
As it stands, Burns Lake stands to benefit substantially if the construction phase of the pipeline commences.
“Significant economic benefits from the pipeline are already being felt along the western portion of the pipeline route where early works, including right-of-way surveying, right-of-way clearing and access road construction have begun,” Robinson Riddell said, “employment opportunities, business contracts and sub-contracts are being realized, and those will be seen in Burns Lake when the project is able to begin early works in the area.”
At its peak construction, it is expected that there will be 4 500 jobs associated with the Kitimat LNG facility and Pacific Trail Pipeline, along with the federal and provincial governments investing in LNG sector specific jobs and skills training in Northern B.C.
“British Columbia stands to be the largest beneficiary of the Kitimat LNG project for decades to come,” Robinson Riddell said, “benefits, such as employment, investment in skills training and revenues to First Nations, local, B.C. and Canadian businesses have already commenced.”
These benefits stand to increase once a positive Final Investment Decision is reach, according to Robinson Riddell.