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City of Prince Rupert discussing LNG terminal on lands across from Seal Cove

The City of Prince Rupert is opening up land across from Seal Cove to a potential LNG export terminal.

At its May 26 meeting, council announced the city was in discussions with Imperial Oil and Exxon Mobile "under an investigative option" to see if a parcel of land on the Prince Rupert harbour waterfront would be suitable for such a terminal. The land in question is part of District Lot 444, which was recently acquired by the city from the province, and is on the west side of the parcel while the city's water supply rests within a watershed on the east side of the lot.

The partnership, named WCC LNG, has already been granted an export licence for 30 million tonnes of LNG per year and could see the creation of up to six LNG trains. Although the licence has been approved, council noted discussions are very preliminary.

"Part of this process will be the zoning of the parcel, a public process that will determine whether or not the proponent can progress investigation of a potential liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility, subject to government and regulatory approvals," read a report from city manager Robert Long.

"This is an LNG proposal. Even though people think of Shell and Exxon as oil companies, this is entirely LNG-related," stressed Councillor Joy Thorkelson.

Because the Community Charter states any proceeds from the sale of lands can be used to acquire ore municipal land, the City of Prince Rupert has formed a wholly-owned subsidiary to transfer the land to.

"By transferring the land to a wholly owned company, any proceeds from the land can be used for any municipal purpose including much needed improvements to the city's infrastructure," reads the report, with Thorkelson noting an environmental officer could be hired if the project proceeds.

As well, the city said an environmental consultant would be hired by the wholly owned subsidiary to oversee investigative work being undertaken by the company.

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