Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline route. (TransCanada illustration)

TransCanada to review options in reaction to LNG decision

Millions in agreements with First Nations will not be paid after LNG company pulls out.

After a successful legal challenge that referred the approval of the TransCanada Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) pipeline back to the National Energy Board (NEB) for consideration and the decision by Petronas to kill the Pacific NorthWest (PNW) LNG project, TransCanada will review options related to the project.

“We were informed of PNW LNG’s decision on July 25, and it will take some time for us to determine the next steps for PRGT,” said Shawn Howard, spokesperson for TransCanada.

“Regarding the recent court case, although that case is related to PRGT, we are still continuing to review the court’s decision.”

Howard added that it’s too early to tell if the PNW LNG announcement will impact, if at all, what happens following the courts decision.

Karl Johannson, TransCanada’s executive vice-president, echoed Howard’s words in a statement released July 25.

He also added that TransCanada would be reimbursed the full costs and carrying charges incurred to advance the project, following receipt of a termination notice.

“We expect to receive this payment later in 2017.”

Millions not being paid to local first nations

The pipeline was drawn up to carry natural gas from northeast B.C. to the PNW LNG terminal on the coast near Prince Rupert, passing north of Hazelton on its way.

Before the PNW LNG project was cancelled, TransCanada said $800 million worth of contracts would be handed out for the PRGT pipeline, with an emphasis to have the prime contractors hire indigenous-owned companies. TransCanada said it had signed 14 project agreements with First Nations.

The details of the company’s agreements are confidential, but the previous B.C. Liberal government’s are not. These will now not be paid (unless deals were already made with the company for the smaller amounts listed):

$10 million per year divided among all affected First Nations, increased annually starting the second year by the rate of inflation.

Lake Babine Nation — $3.24 million, plus $324,000 if a deal was made with the company.

Gitxsan Nation as represented by Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs and Gitxsan Development Corporation (GDC) — $5.81 million, plus $1.62 million if the GDC signed or waived an agreement with the company.

Gitanyow — $1.15 million, plus $230,000 if a deal was made with the company.

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