VANCOUVER, March 27, 2017 /CNW/ - Huu-ay-aht First Nations citizens made history, becoming the first British Columbia Nation to approve a co-management development arrangement for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility.
On March 25, Huu-ay-aht citizens voted 70 per cent in support for the proposed Sarita LNG Project with Steelhead LNG. The proposed LNG facility, which also received unanimous support of Huu-ay-aht's Ḥaw̓iiḥ Council (Hereditary Chiefs) and elected Executive Council, could be an economic game changer for the Nation of 750 people.
The Huu-ay-aht citizen approval is particularly significant because it marks one of the earliest points in project development at which a First Nation community has voted to approve an LNG export facility or pipeline project in BC.
The resounding positive vote means that Huu-ay-aht and Steelhead LNG will move forward with a co-management relationship to develop the proposed facility on Huu-ay-aht owned land in their ḥahuułi (traditional territory), on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
The Sarita LNG facility is in the preliminary engineering and conceptual design stage.
Robert J. Dennis, Sr., Chief Councillor, Huu-ay-aht First Nations
"The people have spoken. We can move forward and take the people's message to the world, showing them what world-leading means. The people's vote will give the project business certainty to take it to the next stage."
"Our co-management arrangement for this project is ground breaking and, by approving such a world-leading approach, Huu-ay-aht is continuing to be a leader among First Nations."
Tayii Ḥaw̓ił ƛiišin (Derek Peters), Head Hereditary Chief, Huu-ay-aht First Nations
"In my role as hereditary leader, it is important that I know we are following a path that is right for my people. Our elected leaders have ensured that their voices have been heard and by moving forward united in our vision, we will continue to be a strong resilient nation. I offer my word that I will always honour my commitment to protect our ḥahuułi (traditional territory) and act in a way that is best for our nation. Moving forward, we will continue to engage and consult with citizens."
Nigel Kuzemko, CEO, Steelhead LNG
"This is a first in B.C. and Canada, and creates a significant degree of certainty early in the project for not only Huu-ay-aht and Steelhead LNG, but also for government, investors and customers."
"The project, which will become a leader in socially responsible energy development both in Canada and globally, will also supply a continually evolving global LNG market in which countries around the world are choosing clean-burning natural gas as a clean, sustainable energy source."
- The National Energy Board has granted Steelhead LNG four licenses to export in the aggregate of 24 million tonnes of LNG per year for 25 years from Sarita Bay.
- The natural gas to supply the facility would be sourced from Canadian producers in northeastern BC and northwestern Alberta, and transported to Steelhead LNG's facilities via pipeline.
- In September 2016, Steelhead LNG and Alberta-based Seven Generations Energy announced a development agreement to explore new midstream supply chain infrastructure that would link natural gas resources to Steelhead LNG's proposed LNG export projects.
- On February19, 2017, Huu-ay-aht citizens approved the purchase of the Sarita Bay lands, owned by Western Forest Products. The land purchase will create economic opportunities in the area including, but not limited to, the proposed project with Steelhead LNG.
Huu-ay-aht First Nations
Huu-ay-aht First Nations is an indigenous community located on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. It is a part of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation, formerly called the Nootka. Huu-ay-aht is a party to the Maa-nulth Final Agreement, a modern treaty that grants its five member-nations constitutionally-protected self-government as well as ownership, control and law-making authority over their lands and resources. For more information, visit huuayaht.org.
Steelhead LNG is a Vancouver-based energy company focused on liquefied natural gas (LNG) project development in British Columbia. Steelhead LNG's management team's experience includes guiding some of the world's leading energy companies and projects, with commercial and technical expertise that spans the entire LNG value chain. From project concept to product delivery, Steelhead LNG is committed to responsibly creating and delivering value for the communities, suppliers and customers that it serves. Steelhead LNG is also continuing to develop the proposed Malahat LNG Project with the Malahat Nation on the Malahat Nation-owned Bamberton Industrial Lands located about seven kilometres south of Mill Bay, BC. For more information, visit steelheadLNG.com.
Backgrounder: Huu-ay-aht makes history with approval of Sarita LNG Project
Huu-ay-aht First Nations made history on March 25, becoming the first British Columbia Nation to approve the co-management development of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility.
Huu-ay-aht citizen's approval of the proposed Sarita LNG Project marks one of the earliest points in project development at which a First Nation community has voted to approve an LNG export facility or pipeline project in B.C. The proposed Sarita LNG Project also received unanimous support of Huu-ay-aht's Ḥaw̓iiḥ Council (Hereditary Chiefs) and elected Executive Council.
With that resounding positive result, Huu-ay-aht and Steelhead LNG will move forward in co-managing the development of the Sarita LNG Project located on Huu-ay-aht First Nations owned land at Sarita Bay.
World-leading Co-management Approach
- Huu-ay-aht and Steelhead LNG have created a co-management approach that represents true reconciliation – with free, prior and informed consent by Huu-ay-aht citizens, and elected and hereditary leaders.
- Approval by Huu-ay-aht citizens at the earliest point in project development and the adoption of a world leading environmental management framework ensures Huu-ay-aht will be involved at every step along the project development process.
Huu-ay-aht Referendum Process
- As a strong, self-governing and self-reliant Nation, Huu-ay-aht is focused on creating certainty for its people and generating wealth for financial independence by providing economic opportunities, social, cultural and recreational programs for all Huu-ay-aht.
- Ratifying the Maa-nulth Treaty gave Huu-ay-aht decision-making power over its own land, therefore the government must create economic opportunities to build a bright future for the Nation and its citizens.
- Huu-ay-aht carried out extensive engagement activities with citizens in advance of the referendum vote, including a Special People's Assembly on February 19, 2017, as well as public and private meetings with Huu-ay-aht families, and extensive outreach through online resources and printed publications.
- On Feb. 19, 2017, Huu-ay-aht citizens approved the purchase of the Sarita Bay lands from Western Forest Products under the Huu-ay-aht Land Act. The land purchase opens up several economic opportunities in the area including the proposed Sarita LNG Project.
- On March 25, 2017, Huu-ay-aht citizens voted 70% to approve the Huu-ay-aht Sarita LNG Project in a referendum under Huu-ay-aht law.
Proposed Sarita LNG Project
- The proposed Sarita LNG Project would be located on Huu-ay-aht First Nations owned lands at Sarita Bay, about 10 kilometres north of Bamfield, and roughly 70 kilometres southwest of Port Alberni.
- The proposed Sarita LNG Project is at a very early stage. The proposed project will require an environmental assessment review as well as other permits, authorizations and approvals of the partners and regulators.
- The National Energy Board has granted Steelhead LNG licences to export up to 24 million tonnes of LNG per year for 25 years from Sarita Bay.
- Steelhead LNG will be liquefying and exporting only Canadian natural gas, and the benefits from the project will be realized here in Canada.
- The natural gas to supply the facility would be sourced from Canadian producers in northeastern B.C. and northwestern Alberta and transported to Steelhead LNG's facilities via natural gas pipelines.
- Steelhead LNG and Alberta-based Seven Generations Energy are currently exploring the development of new midstream supply chain infrastructure that would link natural gas resources to Steelhead LNG's proposed LNG export projects.
About the Huu-ay-aht First Nations
- Huu-ay-aht First Nations is an indigenous community located on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
- Huu-ay-aht is one of 14 Nuu-chah-nulth Nations, formerly called the Nootka.
- Huu-ay-aht is a party to the Maa-nulth Final Agreement, a modern treaty that grants its five member-nations constitutionally-protected self-government as well as ownership, control and law-making authority over their lands and resources.
- Huu-ay-aht is guided by their hereditary and elected leaders. The decisions made are done so while considering the Nations' three sacred principles: ʔiisaak (Greater Respect), Hišuk ma c̓awak (Everything is One) and ʔuuʔałuk (Taking care of…).
About Steelhead LNG
- Vancouver-based energy company focused on LNG project development in British Columbia. Our experience includes guiding some of the world's leading energy companies and projects with commercial and technical expertise that spans the entire LNG value chain.
- Steelhead LNG believes it can build LNG export projects that deliver the lowest landed cost LNG to markets in North Asia using world leading technology.
- Steelhead LNG is also working with the Malahat Nation to explore the development of the proposed Malahat LNG Project, about seven kilometres south of Mill Bay, B.C. (NEB licence approved up to 6 MPTA).
- To get the Canadian natural gas to its proposed Malahat LNG facility, Steelhead LNG is working with Oklahoma-based Williams on the proposed Island Gas Connector Project. The route being explored was previously studied, approved and permitted by U.S. authorities, as a part of the Georgia Strait Crossing (GSX) Project.
SOURCE Huu-ay-aht First Nations
For further information: Huu-ay-aht First Nations: Heather Thomson, Communications Coordinator, Office: +1 250 720 7776, Email: [email protected]; Steelhead LNG: Trevor Boudreau, Director, Communications, Office: +1 604 235 3810, Email: [email protected]