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THE#BCBIZDAILY
Plus, TransCanada to pipe more B.C. natural gas and the lowdown on groundwater

Delta LNG
Tsawwassen First Nation is open for business. With a new mega-mall on its land near Delta expected to be completed in May 2016, the TFN is now looking into building a liquefied natural gas export facility on a 32-hectare (80-acre) section of land designated  industrial.

The facility would produce three to five million tonnes of LNG a year. Natural gas would be brought to the facility via an extension of an existing pipeline 10 kilometres away, purified and liquefied on-site and stored in tanks linked via a new pipeline to Roberts Bank where it would be loaded on five to six tankers a month. TFN members will vote on the concept on December 16, 2015.

In 2009, the Tsawwassen First Nation ratified the first urban First Nation Treaty in Canada, obtaining self-government jurisdiction and land ownership on a renewed land base.

On the subject of Delta LNG, it has been a year since FortisBC expanded its Tilbury LNG facility there. In 2015, FortisBC has committed more than $50 million in local contracts, is using products and services from more than 100 companies in 10 local communities, has generated more than 65,000 hours of employment and has provided apprenticeship and First Nations training.

B.C. natural gas
Despite setbacks to its proposed Keystone XL pipeline, TransCanada Corporation is expanding its business. The company announced today that it has signed contracts for approximately 2.7 billion cubic feet per day of new firm natural gas transportation service thanks to significant growth in unconventional natural gas supplies in northeastern B.C. and Alberta. Its subsidiary Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) will undergo a $570 million system expansion for 2018.

Groundwater groundwork
A study led by University of Victoria hydrogeologist Tom Gleeson and published in the journal Nature Geoscience today reveals that water in aquifers and wells is a largely nonrenewable resource. Just six per cent of the world’s groundwater around the world is replenished within a period of 50 years—and that water tends to be near the surface where it is vulnerable to contamination from pollution or depletion by higher temperatures and reduced rainfall as a result of climate change.

Meanwhile, the B.C. government has decided to stick with the rate corporations and industries pay for groundwater for the time being. In response to an inquiry from the Province, the government confirmed that when B.C.’s Water Sustainability Act comes into effect on January 1, the rate structure will be $2.25 per million litres, which is based on the cost of implementing the WSA including groundwater regulation. In a BCBusiness poll last summer, 33.03 per cent said B.C. residents should pay more for water based on use and 48.62 per cent felt businesses should pay more than residential users.