What is the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) Pipeline Project?

what is the prince rupert gas transmission (PRGT) pipeline project

Map of Previous PRGT Pipeline - TC Energy

The Nisga’a First Nation and its industry partner have announced plans to buy the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) pipeline from its original owner to supply natural gas to the up-and-coming Ksi Lisims LNG project.

This is great news if you care about:

  • advancing Indigenous economic reconciliation in Canada
  • supporting a strong economy, job and contracting opportunities for Canadian and First Nations families and businesses
  • underpinning global energy security with reliable, democratic energy supply
  • reducing emissions abroad via responsibly produced Canadian energy exports

But what is the PRGT pipeline anyway, and why haven’t we heard much about it until now?

Price Rupert Gas Transmission Pipeline: Quick Facts

  • 900-kilometre pipeline connecting Northeastern B.C. natural gas fields to proposed Prince Rupert LNG export facility on the West Coast [3]
  • Pipeline to include terrestrial and marine sections [3]
  • Total capacity of 2-3.6 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/day) [3]
  • To include a 48-inch diameter pipe and up to nine compressor stations [4]
  • Originally intended to supply the now cancelled Pacific Northwest LNG project [3]
  • B.C. Environmental Assessment Certificate (EAC) issued in late 2014 [3]
  • B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (BCEAO) granted EAC five-year extension in 2019 [3]

PRGT Pipeline Approved, Not Built

The PRGT project is an approved but not yet built 900-kilometre natural gas pipeline from Hudson’s Hope in northeastern British Columbia to Lelu Island on the West Coast. Initially intended for the now-defunct $36 billion Pacific NorthWest LNG project, which investors abandoned in 2017, it is now expected to supply gas feedstock for the Nisga’a Nation’s up-and-coming Ksi Lisims LNG.

Today, the project’s environmental certificate remains valid, as do the signed benefit agreements with First Nations along the pipeline’s route.

If built, the PRGT pipeline will further unlock Canada as a secure, affordable, and sustainable source of LNG for buyers abroad. It will also help usher in economic reconciliation with the Nisga'a Nation and other Indigenous communities along its route.

“Today marks another important milestone for the Nisga’a Nation on our path toward creating a sustainable economic base in the Nass Valley for many generations of Nisga’a to come,” said Eva Clayton, President of the Nisga’a Lisims Government, in a media release.

“…As you know, our nation entered into an agreement with PRGT back in 2014 for the construction of the PRGT pipeline through our territories. By becoming a project owner, our Nation will be able to ensure this project creates even greater benefits for our people and for indigenous communities right along the right-of-way. This means more training, more priority hiring, more contracts and procurement for our workers and businesses, and more investment in our Nation. It is a historic development, and an opportunity for us to create a better quality of life for our children and grandchildren here in the Nass – and for First Nations all along the pipeline route.”

“The Nisga’a Nation’s long-standing objectives have been to play a greater role in the major projects within our territories to ensure we are maximizing the upside for our people and minimizing any impacts. This acquisition will give us unprecedented opportunity to ensure this project proceeds in a way that properly reflects our values and protects what we most cherish.”

“Together with the Ksi Lisims LNG project, we are working towards successfully developing the infrastructure necessary to provide the world with the lowest emissions LNG anywhere. LNG which is necessary for the continued global transition to a low carbon economy.”

Cancelled LNG Projects

What countries support the expansion of Canadian liquefied natural gas

After sitting on the sidelines for most of the past decade while Qatar and the United States rapidly cemented themselves as global LNG powerhouses, Canada now has the opportunity to become a significant supplier on international markets.

But history indicates that LNG development is easier said than done.

According to a 2017 report by the then-Canada Energy Regulator, the country had 24 LNG project proposals, 18 of which were in British Columbia [1][2]. Many projects were cancelled for various reasons including weak LNG prices, regulatory uncertainty, and the need for new pipelines [1].

Today, LNG Canada and Woodfibre LNG are the only projects of dozens proposed that are under construction, accounting for a small shadow of the potential natural gas export capacity Canada could have supplied to energy-hungry buyers worldwide.

Like the recently completed Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline, which will supply LNG Canada and other proposed projects underway with feedstock for liquefaction and export, the PRGT is an essential piece of the puzzle for the upcoming Ksi Lisims LNG project.

PRGT’s successful construction will be key to advancing economic reconciliation with First Nations, underpinning a strong economy and job opportunities for Canadians, supporting global energy security, and displacing more carbon-intensive energy generation in Asia and elsewhere abroad.

Ksi Lisims LNG

Ksi Lisims LNG is a floating facility and marine terminal proposed by the Nisga’a Nation at Wil Milit on the northern end of Pearse Island in Northwestern B.C. With an estimated export capacity of 12 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), it will be nearly as large as LNG Canada’s first phase.

Like other Canadian KNG projects, it promises to set standards for environmental performance. According to proponents, it will operate with one of the lowest carbon intensities of any large-scale LNG export project in the world, utilizing several emission-reducing methods such as sourcing power from B.C.’s predominantly hydro grid for electricity supply.

Ksi Lisims LNG and the PRGT pipeline will create thousands of jobs across Canada and much-needed opportunities for First Nations including education, training, employment, contracting, and social and cultural investment opportunities.

Canadian LNG is Indigenous LNG

I support Canadian LNG banner

If the Ksi Lisims LNg and PRGT projects don’t go ahead, history has shown that other producers with less rigorous protections for human rights and the environment will be happy to supply the growing need for natural gas supply worldwide.

With global LNG demand projected to grow by up to 70 per cent by 2040, it only makes sense that future supply comes from the most responsible producers, like Canada, which has rigorous protections for workers and the environment.

SOURCES:

1 - https://calgaryherald.com/opinion/columnists/varcoe-canada-second-chance-global-player-lng

2 - https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/factsheet-lng-project-proposals-in-british-columbia

3 - https://www.bc-er.ca/what-we-regulate/major-projects/prince-rupert-gas-transmission/

4 - https://projects.eao.gov.bc.ca/p/588511d9aaecd9001b826b33/project-details

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