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Building Blocks

LNG Canada fosters long-term relationships with northwest communities and businesses

Two northwest British Columbia cities, and the surrounding region, are gearing up for LNG Canada’s proposed liquefied natural gas export project, and what would be the largest capital energy investment in the province’s history. The project recently received its provincial and federal environmental assessment certificates, a key milestone, and one the local community had a major hand in helping to achieve. Kitimat, where the project will be located, and Terrace, have been heavily involved in providing local knowledge and input into the two-year long environmental assessment process.

The opportunities to provide local input has been key to the project’s success, notes Trish Parsons, executive director of the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce. “The recent Environmental Certificate LNG Canada just received had input from vendors, social services and non-profits, so they’re aware resources need to be really focussed including childcare and housing capacity,” she adds.

LNG Canada made community engagement a priority from the beginning, and continues to engage—currently focused on the business community. Joan Goldhawk, LNG Canada’s senior advisor for local content, is responsible for ensuring that local businesses and individuals benefit from the contracting and employment opportunities that go hand-in-hand with projects of LNG Canada’s complexity and size.

Building relationships with local businesses, according to Goldhawk, means providing as much information as possible. “Our priority has been for business owners to be able to make good business decisions, so we needed to get them as much information as possible about what was needed to qualify,” says Goldhawk. “We also made the decision that we would share the entire procurement process through a series of community workshops, where business owners could meet LNG Canada representatives face-to-face.”

These workshops were followed by local networking sessions LNG Canada hosted with the support of chambers of commerce and economic development organizations. Goldhawk knows the procurement process can be intense, especially for a small business, and to qualify and become a successful bidder, means LNG Canada being as supportive as possible, offering help and advice along the way.

LNG Canada has also committed to hiring and procuring construction-related services locally, then from within B.C., from across Canada and finally outside Canada where needed. The Contractor Local Implementation Plan, Goldhawk explains, is a commitment in every contract awarded worth more than $5 million. “The contractor must advise LNG Canada how they will embrace local content and their plan to hire local people and advance local businesses.”

“As we move closer to what will hopefully be a positive financial investment decision,” says Goldhawk, “we’re moving local business along that journey with us, and living up to the commitment to build relationships with the community in parallel to building our project.”