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Large LNG project backed by Nisga'a Nation proposed for B.C. north coast

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The Nisga'a Nation, Rockies LNG and Western LNG have filed the Initial Project Description for the Ksi Lisims LNG project with the Government of British Columbia and the Government of Canada.

Ksi Lisims LNG (pronounced s'lisims), meaning "from the Nass River" in the Nisga'a language, is a proposed 12-million-tonne-per-year liquefied natural gas (LNG) project at Wil Milit on the northern tip of Pearse Island near the Nisga'a village of Gingolx.

Filing the Initial Project Description is part of the ongoing first phase of engagement to ensure First Nations, local communities and the public can work with the Ksi Lisims LNG proponents as project design is finalized and can provide input to assist the provincial, federal and Nisga'a governments in scoping the environmental assessment process. Early engagement allows the neighbours of Ksi Lisims LNG to provide meaningful input into how Ksi Lisims LNG can maximize benefits and minimize impact on the environment and nearby communities.

"Attracting an economic base to the Nass Valley has long been a priority for the Nisga'a Nation. This is why, for close to a decade, our Nation has worked to attract a world-leading LNG project to our treaty lands, and why we are proud to commence the formal regulatory process for our project, Ksi Lisims LNG," said Nisga'a Nation President Eva Clayton.

Charlotte Raggett, President and CEO of Rockies LNG said, "Ksi Lisims LNG will provide Canadian natural gas producers with new access to growing global energy markets, and importantly, global LNG prices. We look forward to working with the Nisga'a Nation, other First Nations, governments and stakeholders as we advance Ksi Lisims LNG."

Western LNG Founder, President and CEO Davis Thames said, "We are very excited to work with the Nisga'a Nation and Rockies LNG to bring the Ksi Lisims LNG project to market. This project will be important to the global LNG industry as it navigates the energy transition. Fueled by clean British Columbia hydropower and supplied by low carbon Canadian natural gas, Ksi Lisims LNG will achieve one of the world's lowest unit carbon emissions rates for a large-scale LNG export project, making net zero both feasible and achievable.

"Our floating design is central to delivering a project in a remote location on time and on budget, and we have commercial concepts we believe will be attractive to Pacific Basin customers. Together with the Nisga'a Nation and Rockies LNG, we have a tremendous opportunity to provide clean energy to the world, while creating good jobs in our neighbouring communities and economic benefits for western Canada for decades to come."

Project Description

The proposed project site is owned by the Nisga'a Nation in fee simple and is located within Nisga'a treaty lands on the northern tip of Pearse Island on the Portland Canal, west of Gingolx, B.C.

Ksi Lisims LNG will be designed to produce up to 12 million tonnes of LNG per year and will receive approximately 1.7 to 2.0 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. Commercial operations are anticipated to commence in late 2027 or 2028. 

Two natural gas pipeline projects are being evaluated for Ksi Lisims LNG. Both pipeline projects have received regulatory approvals following robust environmental assessment processes and can connect resources in northeastern BC to the proposed project site. The selected natural gas pipeline will be owned and operated by a third party.

Environment, Social & Governance

Ksi Lisims LNG will have one of the lowest unit carbon emissions rates of any large-scale LNG export project in the world. Ksi Lisims LNG will provide global energy markets with low carbon, reliable LNG that helps meet growing energy needs and reduce need for base-load coal plant construction while supporting ongoing growth in intermittent renewable power sources such as wind and solar.

Today coal and oil supply more than 70% of the primary energy demand in Asia. Replacing coal and oil with LNG exported from Ksi Lisims LNG would result in a reduction of global carbon emissions of more than 45 million tonnes per year, or 1.3 gigatonnes over a 30-year period, which is equivalent to nearly two years of total carbon emissions from Canada.

Ksi Lisims LNG's pathway to net zero carbon emissions includes the use of renewable BC Hydro power in combination with strong monitoring and measurement, energy efficiency, purchase of carbon offsets and potential carbon capture and storage. Ksi Lisims LNG is being designed to have a low level of carbon emissions, which reduces the amount of offsets required to achieve net zero.

Ksi Lisims LNG will generate significant social and economic benefits, including public revenues, jobs, training and business opportunities for First Nations and other communities in British Columbia and Alberta. Total direct and indirect economic impact related to the Ksi Lisims LNG facility, infrastructure and upstream activities is estimated at approximately $55 billion.

In 2000, the Nisga'a Nation entered into the first modern treaty in British Columbia. Under the Nisga'a Final Agreement, the Nation has treaty rights to more than 26,000 square kilometres, including the proposed site at Wil Milit. Ksi Lisims LNG is the culmination of the Nisga'a Nation's efforts since 2014 to locate a major LNG export facility on Nisga'a treaty lands. Ksi Lisims LNG aligns with the Nisga'a Nation's vision for self determination and is enabled by the Nisga'a Final Agreement and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The project's governance structure provides each proponent with meaningful input into project development, management and operations, ensuring it is designed and operated in a manner consistent with the Nisga'a Nation's commitment to the stewardship of the land and its people.

Regulatory Process & Approvals

Ksi Lisims LNG is regulated under BC's 2018 Environmental Assessment Act and Canada's 2019 Impact Assessment Act. The project proponents will also conduct an assessment in accordance with Chapter 10 (Environmental Assessment and Protection) of the Nisga'a Final Agreement (Nisga'a Treaty), which will be incorporated into the BC environmental assessment and the federal impact assessment process.

Both environmental assessment acts emphasize the early identification and engagement of First Nations, stakeholders and impacted communities and encourage the exchange of information so appropriate mitigation of impacts can be identified and incorporated into a project early in its development. The filing of an Initial Project Description is one of the initial steps in both processes for identifying potential effects and formulating solutions between a project and impacted communities.

Ksi Lisims LNG has already commenced early engagement with a number of First Nations, government and regulatory officials, and community leaders to introduce the project and to solicit comments on early drafts of the Initial Project Description, many of which have been incorporated into the recent filing. Now that restrictions related to COVID-19 are being thoughtfully reduced, Ksi Lisims LNG anticipates it will have more opportunities to engage and consult with a broader range of stakeholders in a safe and respectful manner, subject to appropriate accommodation of their needs.