Undersea, over land pipelines announced

A 75km pipeline under the Salish Sea will be used to deliver natural gas to the proposed liquefaction facility at Bamberton

A 75km pipeline under the Salish Sea will be used to deliver natural gas from Washington state to the proposed liquefaction facility at Bamberton, and another pipeline will carry gas over land from Bamberton to Sarita Bay near Port Alberni.

Vancouver-based Steelhead LNG has partnered with pipeline developer Williams to get natural gas to two proposed facilities on Vancouver Island, it announced Tuesday.

The Island Gas Connector Project would transport the gas undersea from Washington State to the proposed Malahat floating natural gas liquefaction and export facility. From there it would travel through a land-based pipeline to the proposed Huu-ay-aht First Nations LNG facility at Sarita Bay, 75km southwest of Port Alberni.

A Steelhead press release said that “delivering supply to the proposed LNG Project at Sarita Bay would require an additional independent pipeline from the east coast of Vancouver Island to Sarita Bay, designed, owned and operated by a separate Canadian entity and subject to its own regulatory approval process.”

Steelhead CEO Nigel Kuzemko said his group is looking forward to working with the First Nations groups on the projects, “to explore opportunities for them to share in the economic benefits,” and believes the partnership with Williams is a “significant step forward” for both the Malahat and Huu-ay-aht First Nations proposals.

“Williams shares our commitment to environmental and social responsibility and we look forward to working with them to develop a natural gas pipeline whose design, route, construction and operation meets the needs and standards of potentially affected Aboriginal groups, communities, governments, regulators, our projects, and partners,” Kuzemko said.

The project will undergo “rigorous regulatory, environmental and technical assessments.”

Steelhead LNG and Oklahoma-based Williams both plan to do “extensive consultation” with several stakeholders including First Nations, landowners and communities, some of which have already voiced considerable opposition to any LNG projects on the Island.