Northern Rockies Regional Municipality

From the Mayor's Desk - Feb 4th

NRRM Residents,

 

It has been a busy couple of months for Mayor and Council, having meetings with multiple industry groups, senior government officials and provincial/federal ministers.  I just returned from the Natural Resources Forum in Prince George last week, I wanted to take this opportunity to give a brief update specific to the energy sector.

With gas supply exceeding demand throughout North America, local gas reserves remain uneconomical to develop.  One promising development is that Shell Canada has announced it is proceeding with the large-scale Kitimat LNG facility. Although this project is a few years away, our region is well positioned to supply Kitimat with gas when the time comes.

 

We are working with our neighbours to the south (as part of the Resource Municipalities Coalition) to ensure that senior government decision-makers are reminded about the economic importance of this, and other, LNG projects.

The Fort Nelson First Nation’s development corporation, Deh Tai, has secured funding to study the feasibility of a geothermal generating facility in the Clarke Lake area, and that project is moving forward with the recent announcement of its second phase. The project consultant, Barkley Group, recently made a presentation to Council, and initial results sound promising. Clean energy projects like this are attractive to both the federal and provincial government. Oil and gas industry skills are transferable to this geothermal development, potentially providing skilled employment opportunities in our region.

Cryopeak LNG Solutions and GasNorth Energy recently announced that they will be constructing small scale LNG facilities near Fort Nelson this year. These facilities will service their customers in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.  The projects are welcome news and are expected to bring twenty or so new jobs to our area.

Bob Zimmer, MP for Prince George – Peace River – Northern Rockies (and the new Northern Affairs critic) and I have discussed the advantages of transitioning remote communities in the Territories and northern BC from diesel to LNG. He supports that possibility, and committed to bringing it forward to the Minister of Northern Affairs.

I will also be writing to the Minister of Northern Affairs to emphasize the importance of these projects and recently discussed the subject with Minister of Natural Resources, Seamus O’Regan during a conference call, as well.

Ferus Natural Gas Fuels Inc. currently provides LNG for Yukon Energy's two backup generators in Whitehorse, and to Inuvik, N.W.T. as well. Vice-president of business development and external affairs, Blair Lancaster indicated that with a few more contracts in the Yukon, Fort Nelson would be the logical location for Ferus to have an LNG plant.  Council welcomes these potential investors, and the NRRM is ready to do what it can to assist in reviving this industry in the Northern Rockies.

 If you would like to discuss these, or any other, matters please do not hesitate to give me a call at 250.500.1060.

 

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