An estimated 32% of the $4.8 billion capital project will be spent locally in B.C. on the Coastal GasLink pipeline, with over 2,000 jobs expected to be created during construction and approximately $20 million in annual property tax payments.
TransCanada (ticker: TRP) announced that it signed project agreements with six First Nations tribes regarding the company’s 670-kilometer Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia.
The project runs from the Dawson Creek area to the west coast of B.C. where it will supply natural gas to the Kitimat LNG Canada facility. The project will use a 48-inch diameter pipe, and the company will construct and operate up to three meter stations and one compressor station. The initial capacity would be approximately 2 to 3 billion cubic feet of gas per day (Bcf/d), according to the company.
This marks an important step for TRP as the pipeline’s route is located in traditional and treaty territories of the First Nations. Wet’suwet’en First Nation, Skin Tyee Nation, Nee-Thai-Buhn Band, Yekooche First Nation, Doig River First Nation, and Halfway River First Nation are the beneficiaries of the agreements.
“This isn’t a choice between economics and culture, environment and a traditional way of life for First Nations communities,” said Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project President Rick Gateman. “These agreements highlight how First Nations communities can enjoy the economic benefits of the project while continuing to live their way of life.”
The agreements include financial and other benefits related to the pipeline project. TransCanada says this is part of its long-term approach to include First Nations groups in the project by developing skills training, employing and utilizing Aboriginal business in contracting opportunities.
An estimated 32% of the $4.8 billion capital project will be spent locally in B.C., with over 2,000 jobs expected to be created during construction and approximately $20 million in annual property tax payments. To date, over $38 million has already been spent in Northern B.C. along with $1.5 million invested in community initiatives along the proposed route and more is planned.
Twenty seven percent of the more than 300,000 hours of fieldwork on the project has been conducted by Aboriginals, TRP said in a press release. Input from First Nation groups offers local knowledge into designing the project, including where to route the pipe and site specific mitigation plans.
The LNG Canada project received a positive Environmental Assessment earlier this month, proving a positive step forward for the Shell-backed (ticker: RDSA) project. The project is expected to produce 2 Bcf/d of LNG for export to Asian markets. Shell holds a 50% interest in the project with other partners including Chinese oil major PetroChina (ticker: PTR). Investment in the project could reach as high as C$40 billion.