Kwispaa LNG Project Halted

Gavin MacRae

Photo by Ken Hodge CC, cropped from original

According to an open letter posted on the Huu-ay-aht First Nation webpage, Steelhead LNG has stopped work on the Kwispaa LNG project.

The letter, dated February 15 and co-signed by Huu-ay-aht Elected Chief Councillor, Robert Dennis Sr., and Hereditary Chief, Derek Peters, said the Nation was “deeply disappointed” after Steelhead LNG’s notification that they had “ceased current project work on the Kwispaa LNG project.”

The news was confirmed by Chief Robert Dennis Sr.

In the letter, the Nation stated they would “evaluate the implications of this decision by Steelhead LNG” and “identify all go-forward options.”

No reasons were given for the halt of the project.

The Kwispaa LNG project is a partnership project by Steelhead LNG of Vancouver, and Huu-ay-aht First Nations on West Vancouver Island.

It involves a 730 hectare natural gas liquefaction and export facility on Sarita Bay, about 45 kilometres south-southwest of Port Alberni, fed by a 1000 km pipeline from near Chetwynd in the interior. The project has been estimated to cost $18 billion for export of 24 million tons of liquid natural gas per year at full build-out, requiring six to seven LNG carrier ships weekly.

Update: February 19, 2019

Nigel Kuzemko, CEO of Steelhead LNG, cited investor uncertainty as a major factor in the decision for a “time out” in the Kwispaa LNG project, according to reporting by My Campbell River Now. To “resolve the uncertainty,” Steelhead will now focus on attracting First Nations and governments to partner on the project.

In late 2017, Steelhead LNG similarly scrapped an LNG export project with Malahat First Nation near Mill Bay in the Saanich Inlet.

Editors Note:

The Kwispaa LNG project may be having a “time out” of undetermined duration, but the impacts of LNG and fracking to climate, water, and First Nations, continues.

Watershed Sentinel and the Council of Canadians Comox Valley chapter will co-host LNG, Fracking, and the Comox Valley Connection, February 27 at 7:00 pm in the Florence Filberg Centre Conference Hall in Courtenay. Join us for an evening forum featuring five expert speakers and a question period:

· Bernadette and Keith Wyton from the Barkley Sound Alliance (details on Kwispaa and where it’s at now)

· Richard Wright, Wilps Luutkudziiwus Spokesperson from Madii Lii Center in Gitxsan territory in Northern BC

· Micheal Sawyer, environmental consultant who successfully appealed a decision of the NEB with respect to the Prince Rupert LNG pipeline and is now appealing the Coastal GasLink pipeline

· Damien Gillis, BC journalist and filmmaker (co-director and co-producer of the documentary feature Fractured Land), on the impact of fracking on land and water


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