Ksi Lisims LNG Project Could Face Setback As Pipeline Jurisdiction Questioned

New regulatory challenge filed by Smithers resident.

A potential pipeline that would supply liquefied natural gas to the proposed Ksi Lisims LNG facility near the mouth of the Nass River could be ruled invalid by the Canadian Energy Regulator.

According to a Canadian Energy Regulator application filed by Mike Sawyer, Executive Director for the Citizen’s Oil and Gas Council, “the PRGT Project and North Montney Pipeline, along with Nova Gas’ interprovincial system, together comprise a single federally-regulated undertaking, and as such the PRGT Project falls within federal, not provincial, jurisdiction and is subject to regulation by the CER. I respectfully request that the CER issue a declaratory order and a Notice of Constitutional Question as requested.”

In 2014 Sawyer questioned the jurisdiction of the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission, arguing to the National Energy Board at the time, now the Canadian Energy Regulator, that the pipeline was incorrectly assessed and should be regulated under federal jurisdiction, not provincial. A federal appeals court seemed to side with Sawyer before Petronas cancelled the project.

Last month, the Nisga’a Lisims Government in the Nass Valley announced an ambitious new resource project, Ksi Lisims (s’lisims) LNG, a 12-million-tonne-per-year liquefied natural gas (LNG) project at Wil Milit, north of Prince Rupert, BC near the Nisga’a village of Gingolx.  

The project will be managed equally by the Nisga’a Nation, Rockies LNG and Western LNG.

The location of the new LNG project is slated for the Wil Milit, approximately 15 kilometers east of Gingolx, on treatied land. The proposed site consists of undeveloped, but previously logged, land in close proximity to existing shipping routes.

The proposed site for the Ksi Lisims LNG project. Source: CBC News

The project also proposes to achieve net-zero emissions after three years in operation, with the majority of the product headed for Asian markets.

The proposal aims to generate significant social and economic benefits, including public revenues, jobs, training and business opportunities for local First Nations and other communities in the region. Total direct and indirect economic impact related to the Ksi Lisims facility, infrastructure and upstream activities is estimated at approximately $55 billion.

And with much of the consultation with communities and more assessment work to be done, Ksi Lisims LNG (s’lisims), is looking to secure final investments and full approval by 2024 and be fully operational by 2027 or 2028.

On July 2, the BC Environmental Assessment Office received an engagement plan and the initial project description, which has been approved so the project can move ahead with community and partner engagement.

Sawyer believes that if the Canadian Energy Regulator reviews the jurisdiction of the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission, it will find its current approval status invalid, which would require a completely new environmental review and approval certificate that could take months, or even years to conclude.

The Nisga’a Lisims Government declined to comment, saying the project is still in its early stages.

More to come….

Written by Dan Mesec

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