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    First Nations in new Canadian LNG plan

Summary

Floating LNG project could be operational by 2030

by: Dale Lunan

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First Nations in new Canadian LNG plan

A coalition of First Nations in the east coast Canadian province of Newfoundland & Labrador said September 21 they were joining forces to increase indigenous equity participation in a newly-revealed floating LNG project in the province.

The First Nations Major Projects Coalition (FNMPC) and the Miawpukek First Nation (MFN) said they were seeking increased equity participation in the LNG Newfoundland & Labrador (LNG NL) project, a C$10bn (US$7.85bn) endeavour to locate a floating liquefaction facility in Newfoundland’s Placentia Bay that would monetise stranded natural gas assets in the Jeanne d’Arc Basin, offshore Newfoundland & Labrador.

Since July, the FNMPC has been engaged by the MFN and its Miawpukek Horizon Maritime Services partnership to provide technical advice, co-ordination and support to LNG NL. A project framework agreement was signed by the parties September 21 at the Newfoundland & Labrador Oil & Gas Industries Association (Noia) conference in St John’s, NL.

“Producing some of the world’s cleanest LNG aligns well with the values of our First Nation,” MFN chief Misel Joe said. “Furthermore, the benefits by way of own-source revenue generation and the jobs this project will create for our community members is significant and a big part of our plan for self-sufficiency.”

His Nation’s inclusion in the project, Joe said, was “historical and transformative” and an example of how the province’s offshore energy industry, Canada and Newfoundland & Labrador are embracing and giving effect to reconciliation.

“Today’s announcement highlights what can happen when First Nations have access to the capacity and resources they need to implement their vision and become equity partners of major projects,” FNMPC chair chief Sharleen Gale said.

The LNG NL project comprises a centralised offshore natural gas collection hub in the Jeanne d’Arc Basin, a 600 km undersea natural gas pipeline to Grassy Point, in Placentia Bay, and a 4mn mt/yr floating liquefaction facility. The project, which would be powered by Newfoundland & Labrador’s renewable hydroelectricity, could be operational by 2030.

“Now is the time to develop Newfoundland & Labrador’s vast reserves of offshore natural gas,” LNG NL CEO Leo Power said in a presentation to the Noia conference. “Liquefying the gas allows for transportation to export markets in Europe and beyond and will help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions as the gas can replace more carbon intensive energy sources such as coal.”