Kwispaa LNG: The next wave of LNG in British Columbia

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Jack Middleton, Manager, Government Affairs, Steelhead LNG
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Given the world’s growing demand for more resources that are produced more responsibly, Canada has a great opportunity in achieving a lower carbon economy with the abundance of natural gas and LNG possibilities present.

The proposed Kwispaa LNG project at Sarita Bay on Vancouver Island is being jointly developed by Steelhead LNG and the Huu-ay-ahy First Nations. Ahead of the Canada Gas & LNG Exhibition and Conference taking place 21-23 May in Vancouver, Gastech Insights spoke with Jack Middleton, Manager, Government Affairs at Steelhead LNG to discover more on the upcoming project.

Gastech Insights: The big question is, what is next for Canada?

Jack Middleton: Canada has the opportunity to be considered the best place in the world to do business, where social, environmental, and economic outcomes are in balance. We have world-class producers with gas production in place that can be incrementally developed who need access to global markets. In British Columbia we have the somewhat unique privilege of access to an expanding amount of clean hydroelectricity that can be used to power projects, making Canadian LNG the cleanest in the world.

Given the growing demand for LNG, Canada can be global leaders in the next wave of LNG development in a manner that meets our climate commitments, protects the environment, and prioritises reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. By doing so, Canada can grow its energy sector, providing significant jobs and revenues to Canadians while facilitating emissions reductions in countries that would otherwise be importing resources with a higher GHG output.

At Steelhead LNG, we believe in the opportunity in Canada with our Kwispaa LNG project as the next wave of LNG development. Our focus has been taking the time to robustly engage Indigenous peoples and communities from the earliest stage to understand the interests and issues that surround development to make better decisions from the outset. The Kwispaa LNG project entered the regulatory process in October 2018 and is preparing for entry to FEED. In addition, Kwispaa LNG has already taken steps to reduce emissions by, among other things, selecting electric motor-driven main refrigerant compressors (e-drives) rather than the higher emission, gas turbine direct-drive approach.

Canada must seize this opportunity to be a global leader in sustainable natural resource development, contributing to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution in Asia, while ensuring we respect and protect the local environment.

Gastech Insights: The Kwispaa LNG project is unique in the region as it is being developed through a co-management relationship between Steelhead LNG and Huu-ay-aht First Nations. What does this collaborative approach mean for the project?

Jack Middleton: We believe that relationships built on respect are the foundation for successful projects. For Kwispaa LNG, this means, from the outset, respect for self-determination and Indigenous inclusion in the decisions that impact their lands and communities, respect for the inherent values of communities, and a strong commitment to partnership and reconciliation. We knew that the relationship between Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Steelhead LNG had to be the foundation for a successful project.

Through the development of the relationship, we listened and understood one another’s values, interests and priorities, learned invaluable information that has helped information better decisions for the project and formed a genuine and meaningful partnership based on trust and respect. The co-management relationship that is established through our Relationship Agreements embraces the principles of reconciliation and demonstrates how industry and Indigenous groups can work together to develop projects in a mutually beneficial manner that results in better outcomes for all.

The co-management relationship results in tremendous value to the project, such as jointly conducting environmental studies, co-drafting regulatory submissions, and funding a watershed renewal and fisheries enhancement program to repair damage from generations of impact, which is already starting to bring back the once plentiful salmon in Huu-ay-aht’s “heart of the people”.

We know that we are better together and by embracing the value of diversity in perspectives, we will create a world-leading project that delivers value to British Columbians and Canadians at large. 

Gastech Insights: The Canada Gas & LNG Exhibition and Conference (CGLNG) returns to Vancouver in May – why should industry players attend the event?

Jack Middleton: The conference is going to be an excellent opportunity to showcase Canada as a place to invest and do business. Governments in Canada have shown they are supportive of the LNG industry. We have now seen an FID from LNG Canada and may see others in 2019. Kwispaa LNG is the next wave of LNG from British Columbia and we are excited to continue the dialogue on how to successfully develop the LNG industry in Canada. The conference will represent a time to come together and talk about the lessons learned and demonstrate the leadership role Canada can have in the global energy economy.

Bringing the full value chain together as well as adapting to recent market expansions, CGLNG is the only event of its kind. Register your delegate place today to not miss out!

Image courtesy of Steelhead LNG