Residents had their chance to weigh in on what should be covered by environmental assessment of Aurora LNG on Wednesday night, with people packing the North Coast Convention Centre to learn more about the project.
The company, a joint venture between Nexen Energy and INPEX Gas British Columbia Ltd., is proposing to construct a liquefied natural gas export terminal on the tip of Digby Island. Plans call for the facility to process between 20 and 24 million tonnes per annum at full build out with a marine terminal capable of accommodating up to three LNG carriers. The company is planning to submit its environmental assessment application in the spring or summer of 2016, with construction beginning around 2020 and operations starting in 2024.
Aurora LNG has identified five pillars of the environmental assessment that will be studied and reported on. These include effects on the environmental — which includes impacts to air, water and terrestrial resources — on the economy, on human health, on archaeological and heritage resources and social impacts — which include effects on visual quality, infrastructure, land use, marine use and community health.
While representatives from Aurora LNG were on hand to discuss the project and field questions, residents of Dodge Cove were outside the facility to raise awareness of their concerns with the proximity of the project to their small community.
“Nexen-CNOOC’s project is to build an LNG terminal site, with road and the worker’s camp adjacent to our watershed. It may disturb our already delicate water supply and ancient muskeg wetland, as well as separate us from our treasured Lake Wahl,” read a statement from the residents, which noted a confidential survey showed 96 per cent of Dodge Cove residents were opposed to the project.
“Dodge Cove residents demand the B.C. Government adhere to the world class standards of the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators’ (SIGITTO) siting standards [and] support the minimum 2.2 mile SIGITTO Hazard Zone free from LNG facilities and carriers — a world class standard for tankers and terminals.”
Should the project proceed, Nexen estimates up to 5,000 construction jobs could be created while between 200 and 400 operational employees would be needed.