Newsletter: Early startup for LNG Canada in 2024?

Our newsletter: 23 November 2023

LNG Canada plant (rendering)

Early startup for LNG Canada?

The Coastal GasLink pipeline finished installation ahead of a year-end deadline, and LNG Canada is more than 85% complete. So there’s been speculation that LNG Canada could start up earlier than its long-standing projection of “mid-decade.”

The latest talk of an early start — in 2024 — came from Jun Nishizawa, CEO of the natural gas group at Japan’s Mitsubishi, a 15% partner in the LNG Canada project.

Nishizawa said at a Singapore event: “We expect (a) production start in the year to come.”

(There has been no announcement from LNG Canada itself.)

Meanwhile, the Haisla Nation’s Cedar LNG project and its floating plant took a major step forward: It signed a “heads of agreement” with ship-builder Samsung Heavy Industries and Black & Veatch, front-end engineering and design contractor, to secure access to shipyard capacity to meet Cedar LNG’s target commercial operations date.

Doug Arnell, Cedar LNG’s CEO, said:  “Through this agreement we are accessing world-class expertise in the construction and delivery of floating LNG production vessels, which, together with renewable power from the BC Hydro grid, will result in an environmentally leading, state-of-the-art facility for Cedar LNG, with one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world.”

The parties expect to finalize a lump-sum engineering, procurement, and construction agreement in December.

At the same time, the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) approved a “floatel” as a work camp for the Woodfibre LNG project.

The converted cruise ship is being refitted in Europe, and is expected in Howe Sound in early 2024. When operational, the floatel should house about 600 workers.

The EAO’s approval includes a requirement for “a gender and cultural safety management plan.” And it said such a plan will become standard practice for future work camps.

However, the Nisga’a Nation’s proposed Ksi Lisims LNG project was hit by this news: The Lax Kw’alaams Band issued a news release saying the project “cannot proceed on Lax Kw’alaams’ traditional territory.”

Powerhouse panelists

BC poised to be energy powerhouse

LNG projects, under way or planned, were a key part of the positive energy picture painted at the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s energy forum.

And Business in Vancouver pointed out: “Increasingly, First Nations in B.C. are proving to be important business partners in major energy projects, notably LNG.”

It added: “Roughly $90 billion worth of energy mega-projects are nearing completion in B.C. – the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the LNG Canada and Coastal GasLink pipeline, and Site C dam – with tens of billions of dollars of further investments still to come in other energy projects in the queue, including two LNG terminals led by First Nations (Cedar and Ksi Lisims LNG), green hydrogen and ammonia production proposals, and new renewable energy and transmission projects.”

  • Jeff Kucharski, senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute: “In 2022, Canadian energy exports were $236 billion dollars, which is one-third of all Canada’s exports. That’s how important international energy markets are to Canada’s economy. And that’s set to grow significantly in the next couple of years as some major projects come online.”
  • Jack Middleton, senior advisor for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers: “Since 2012, natural gas production has grown by 35 per cent, while lowering direct CO2 equivalent emissions by 22 per cent.”
  • Bryan Cox, former president of both the Mining Association of BC and the Canadian LNG Alliance and now director of external affairs and policy for Petronas Canada: “This truly is a pivotal moment for British Columbia, for Canada, to get ourselves moving at pace. We need to be able to accelerate all of the things that you’re working on, including a coordinated natural gas and LNG value chain.”
  • The full story:

And our Alliance CEO, Karen Ogen, after a trip to China with other Indigenous business leaders, said: “There are huge opportunities for LNG in China and other Asian markets, especially for the Coastal Nations in British Columbia.”

She was one of 10 Indigenous representatives on the Canada-China Business Council’s trade mission to Beijing in late October.

Chrystia Freeland

Federal loan-guarantee program delayed

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland (above) promised in her economic update to Parliament that Ottawa will ‘advance development of an Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program to help facilitate Indigenous equity ownership in major projects in the natural resource sector.’

But she gave no details, saying only: “Next steps will be announced in Budget 2024.” (That would be next March.)

Dale Swampy, president of the National Coalition of Chiefs, wrote in Financial Post that the loan program should include oil and gas projects. And:

“The only realistic road to Indigenous economic reconciliation runs through employment and equity ownership in our natural resource industries. The federal government needs to stop managing poverty and start managing job and ownership opportunities for our communities.”

A federal loan-guarantee program is also urged by the Alliance, the First Nations Power Authority, the Indigenous Resource Network, and Asokan Generational Developments and Athabasca Indigenous Investments. And in a letter to the prime minister they say it should allow for Indigenous equity investments in oil and gas projects.

Meanwhile, Enbridge, an affiliate member of our Alliance, posted this: “Positive signal in today’s Fall Economic Statement. We will continue to work with our Indigenous partners to advocate for a federal loan guarantee program that supports their right to benefit from projects in their territories, on their own terms.”

Clean energy technologies

Indigenous clean-energy news


  • BC Hydro looks to partner with First Nations on power line from Prince George to Terrace — ‘and actually have them own a portion of the line.’
  • Community non-profits in northeast BC get $50,000 boost from Coastal GasLink:
  • Massive Montney play ramping up with Canadian LNG exports on the horizon:
  • Enbridge, Canadian leader in energy pipelines and delivery in North America, joins the First Nations LNG Alliance as an affiliate member:
  • Our blog: It’s time for, a serious and independent accounting of (i) where we and the world really are on greenhouse-gas emissions; (ii) what can be realistically done about our emissions; (iii) what Ottawa really willdo about them; and (iv) what the costs and impacts will be on all of us, both of action and inaction.



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