PRINCE RUPERT, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – Sept. 29, 2015) – TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP) (NYSE:TRP) (TransCanada) today announced that its Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project (PRGT) has signed a Project Agreement with the Metlakatla First Nation, a member of the Coast Tsimshian Nation. The Project Agreement – the eighth with First Nations along the pipeline route – outlines financial and other benefits and commitments that will be provided for as long as the project is in service.
“Achieving this agreement with the Metlakatla First Nation is a major milestone for us, particularly since it has a significant interest in the Skeena estuary and wants to ensure that the environment around the Pacific NorthWest liquefaction facility is protected. The agreement is a strong indicator of the importance we place on engaging with First Nations to ensure their input on environmental and cultural impacts is genuinely incorporated into our project, and that they benefit from the construction and operation of the PRGT pipeline project,” said Dean Patry, president of PRGT. “We are pleased that the Metlakatla First Nation will have a role in monitoring the construction and operation of the project.”
The Metlakatla First Nation is located near Port Edward and considers Lelu Island, the proposed location for the Pacific NorthWest LNG facility, as a significant part of its traditional territory. Chief Harold Leighton expressed support for the project by saying, “The pipeline project and the Pacific NorthWest facility will benefit our members for many years to come. We are confident that TransCanada will work diligently to ensure our way of life and the environment, and in particular Lelu Island, will not be negatively affected by the project.”
While the specific terms of the agreement remain confidential, it includes:
- Access to employment;
- Training and capacity development; and,
- Initial and annual payments for the life of the project.
The Metlakatla First Nation Project Agreement is the second signed with a member of the Tsimshian Nation. A previous agreement with the Kitselas First Nation was announced in April.
Metlakatla First Nation has separately completed a term sheet agreement with Pacific NorthWest LNG.
Along the pipeline route, PRGT has also signed project agreements with Doig River, Halfway River and Yekooche First Nations, Gitanyow First Nation, Kitselas First Nation, Lake Babine Nation and Nisga’a Lisims Government,
PRGT is proposing to design, build, own and operate (subject to required regulatory and commercial approvals) a 900 kilometre natural gas pipeline to deliver natural gas from a point near Hudson’s Hope to the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG facility at Lelu Island, off the coast of Port Edward, near Prince Rupert. Project details can be found at www.princerupertgas.com.