A proposed natural gas pipeline from Chetwynd, through the Cariboo Chilcotin, to a liquefaction and export facility on the west coast of Vancouver Island 70 kilometres southwest of Port Alberni is being explored by Steelhead LNG.
Representatives from the Vancouver-based energy company appeared as a delegation during the Cariboo Regional District regular board meeting Friday, Feb. 8 to talk about the Kwispaa LNG project.
“We are just at the introductory point of sharing information,” said Breanne Whyte, community engagement lead for the company, noting Steelhead is working on the liquefaction project with Huu-ay-aht First Nations.
Whyte said the pipeline would be about 1,000 kilometres in length, approximately 48 inches in diameter and be installed one metre underground.
During the construction phase the working area would consists of a 50-metre width along the route.
There would also be a small subsea crossing at the Salish Sea where the pipeline would be placed on the ocean floor and the liquefaction and export facility would be built at Nuumaqimyiis (Sarita) Bay in Alberni Inlet, on land owned by Huu-ay-aht First Nations.
Steelhead LNG project lead Peter Kuijper said at this point they are looking at the corridor for the pipeline going from Chetwynd through to Bear Lake north of Prince George in the first segment, from Bear Lake to Riske Creek in the second segment and are thinking the west side of the Fraser River was the best option.
Area C director John Massier asked if all the gas would be exported or is the company looking at domestic or North American markets once it reaches southern B.C.
“That’s a significant amount of gas that can flow through a 48-inch pipeline,” Massier said. “Is there some way that domestic supply can be siphoned off to an alternate parallel pipeline to supply our region and not take a chance that we are freezing in the dark as our gas is flowing by the community and going somewhere else.”
Area G director Al Richmond said many communities on the west side of the Fraser River do not have access to natural gas and the company should expect to hear from those communities asking if they can access natural gas.
Whyte responded at this point the concept of the plan is for 100 per cent export to Asian markets, although no contracts have been secured yet.
Manager of communications Matt Skinner said the environmental assessment process for Kwispaa LNG was initiated in October 2018 with the submission of the project description to regulators.
“We anticipate submitting the project description for the Steelhead Natural Gas Pipeline in Spring of 2019,” Skinner said. “We expect to continue to engage with Indigenous groups and local communities as we develop the project description, as well as throughout the environmental assessment process.”
If approved it would take four years to construct the pipeline.
Reporter’s note: In the original version of this article, Peter Kuijper was mistakenly identified as Corey Goulet.