LNG Canada is hailing the approval of environmental certificates from the province and from Ottawa a big success for their project, and it’s possible that some early works could take place in the fall.
The company said they weren’t ready to confirm if any early works might take place in Kitimat later in the year — that would be contingent on permits and design work being completed — but there’s the potential for extra people around town later.
“If we do decide to do that as early as lets say this fall, you might see some additional folks in town but we haven’t made a decision on that yet,” said LNG Canada’s Director of External Affairs Susannah Pierce.
She adds you wouldn’t see anywhere close to the level of manpower for such work as you would see for full on construction.
As for the topic of full construction, it still remains to be seen if there will be positive Final Investment Decision and Pierce said that, as always, there’s no date on when that may happen.
“[The environmental certificate’s] certainly a very positive step in that direction,” she said about FID. “We’re trying to make sure that we put the most compelling and robust case in front of our partners to make a decision in favour of LNG Canada. When we think about the time frame for when we want to see this project happen, we want to do that as soon as we possibly can. But in order to make the robust case we need to make sure we have the information. So the environmental approvals…is a significant milestone in putting together that package. I think we’d like to see delivery of that FID package and some decisions as quickly as we can.”
She suggested the FID package could be submitted within a year from now.
Meanwhile Pierce says a lot of the conditions in their environmental certificate were expected already, the certificates in effect just formalizing the requirements.
“A lot of them were things we anticipated just based on the work group’s feedback, based on our own discussions with First Nations, the regulator, the community. When we received them it was confirmation of what we expected for the most part. And…we feel pretty good about our ability to meet those,” she said.
She said the plant has always been designed to have the least amount of emissions possible, and she believes there will not be any significant health impacts as a result of their facility.
The company is also working with regulators to manage any potential impacts to marine ecosystems.
“You can’t completely eliminate all fishery impact but what we have been doing is try to avoid it as much as possible but then build some robust habitat compensation plans, which would be part of not only the assessment here but a review under the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.”
From here, from a regulatory standpoint, LNG Canada still requires certain authorizations under the Fishery Act for disposal of clean dredge material, and are working towards concluding a TERMPOL review, which is a voluntary review of all matters regarding marine shipping and transportation.