TransCanada (TSX: TRP) (NYSE: TRP) announced June 1 that its Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Ltd. (PRGT) project has entered into project agreements with the Doig River First Nation, Halfway River First Nation and Yekooche First Nation of northern British Columbia.
The agreements provide each First Nation with financial and other benefits related to the pipeline projects. Specifically, they provide annual legacy payments for the duration of the commercial operation of the pipelines, plus immediate benefits on signing, and at other key project milestones.
Pipeline project agreements are part of a comprehensive approach to working with First Nations on liquefied natural gas (LNG) opportunities, including developing skills training, employment and involving First Nations in developing business opportunities.
“Reaching agreement with the Doig River, Halfway River and Yekooche First Nations has required a significant investment by all parties in building a meaningful relationship,” said Dean Patry, president of PRGT. “We are proud of the rapid progress we are making in securing formal support from First Nations along the PRGT route. These agreements reflect our commitment to engage with First Nation communities in a significant and respectful way and to provide fair and meaningful benefits during construction and through the operational life of the project.”
Doig River First Nation Chief Norman Davis was pleased with the extensive level of engagement and negotiation with PRGT throughout the process. “They worked to ensure the environment and our traditional way of life will be adequately protected,” said Chief Davis. “This project will provide significant financial and contracting benefits to our Nation and we look forward to doing our part in the construction of this project.”
The Doig River, Halfway River and Yekooche agreements join previously-announced PRGT agreements with Lake Babine Nation, Nisga’a Lisims Government, Gitanyow First Nation and Kitselas First Nation.
PRGT is proposing to design, build, own and operate a 900-kilometer natural gas pipeline to deliver gas from a point near Hudson’s Hope to the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG facility at Lelu Island, off the coast of Port Edward, near Prince Rupert.
TransCanada operates a network of natural gas pipelines that extends more than 68,000 kilometres (42,100 miles), tapping into virtually all major gas supply basins in North America. TransCanada is one of the continent’s largest providers of gas storage and related services with more than 368 billion cubic feet of storage capacity. A growing independent power producer, TransCanada owns or has interests in over 10,900 megawatts of power generation in Canada and the United States.