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LNG Canada says it’s hitting ‘critical construction milestones’ amid blockades

LNG Canada hitting ‘critical construction milestones’ amid blockades
WATCH: LNG Canada is promising to deliver its first cargo before the middle of this decade as blockades continue around a central piece of the project's infrastructure. Keith Baldrey reports.

LNG Canada is promising to deliver its first cargo before the middle of this decade as blockades continue around a central piece of the project’s infrastructure.

The Coastal GasLink pipeline is expected to carry natural gas from B.C.’s Peace region to the proposed LNG plant in Kitimat. The liquefied natural gas will then be shipped from the port in Kitimat predominantly to Asian markets.

“More than 2,000 people are benefitting directly from employment and contracting during this busy construction period. We’ve also spent more than $2 billion on contracts with Indigenous companies, local companies, and companies in B.C. and across Canada,” an open letter from LNG Canada CEO Peter Zebedee reads.

READ MORE: Railroad blockades ‘setting back reconciliation 20 years,’ warns B.C. MLA Ellis Ross

In 2018, a joint venture including energy industry players announced a final investment for the $40-billion LNG megaproject, which would be the fastest route to transport gas from North America to Asia.

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National blockades were triggered in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs opposed to the pipeline going through its territory. Twenty Indigenous communities have signed on to a communities benefits agreement for the pipeline.

“We are excited about the project, the opportunity it affords Indigenous and northern communities, and the market for exporting Canadian LNG,” Zebedee writes.

“While there are some who want to #ShutDownCanada, there are many more who want to #BuildCanadaUp. We are a resource-rich country and I believe we have a responsibility to share our abundant energy resources with the rest of the world. In the process, we can demonstrate that Canada is a great place to conduct business.”

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The project has the support of the BC NDP and the BC Liberals. The BC Greens have repeatedly voted against it due to concerns around emissions.

“LNG Canada continues to lead in greenhouse gas emissions performance and we have purposefully designed our facility to have the lowest GHG emissions of any large-scale LNG export facility operating in the world,” Zebedee writes.

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At the time of the final investment decision, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the announcement the “single largest private sector investment project in Canadian history.”

The B.C. government has described the project as one symbolizing “the kind of balanced and sustainable path forward British Columbians are looking for.”

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“I think LNG Canada recognizes there are challenges and their commitment, I’m glad to see this,” Government House Leader Mike Farnworth said.

“We understand the benefits this will bring to North British Columbia and northern communities.”