Ksi Lisims LNG Given ‘OK’ by CER, Now it’s the Minister’s Turn


Great news for Nisga’a Nation, British Columbians and Canadians came out of the Canada Energy Regulator’s (CER) office last week. Ksi Lisims LNG, an Indigenous-led project on the coast of northwestern British Columbia, has been given a stamp of approval by the CER to export natural gas in the form of LNG [1].

The CER’s decision allows for maximum annual export volumes of 22.4 billion cubic metres per year, which equals about 2.17 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d). For perspective, LNG Canada – currently under construction in Kitimat, B.C. – is projected to export 3.5 bcf/d at full capacity.

For now, the Nisga’a Nation’s LNG export terminal says it will export 12 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), equivalent to 1.6 bcf/d.

If the Nisga’a and other project proponents push to increase LNG exports to the limit is yet to be seen. With Asia expected to absorb 70 per cent of LNG growth through to 2040 and global demand nearly doubling by then, they may very well consider it.

Either way, the project must first be approved by the federal government.

The CER's decision is a positive step towards building another major LNG project on Canada’s west coast. However, the CER noted on Twitter that Ksi Lisims LNG must also get approval from the Minister of Natural Resources (currently Jonathan Wilkinson) before the Commission can issue the export license.

So then, why should Canada’s federal minister approve Ksi Lisims LNG?

#1- UNDRIP Gives Indigenous Communities the Right to Say ‘Yes’

Ksi Lisims LNG

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) – adopted into Canadian law in 2021 – provides new tools for Indigenous Peoples to say 'yes' to natural resource development which is in their best interests.

UNDRIP protects Indigenous rights, such as:

> To own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources on their lands

> To freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development

> To be secure in generating own-source revenues through their own means of development, and to engage freely in all traditional and other economic activities

In 2000, the Nisga’a Nation signed a treaty with the governments of B.C. and Canada that gave the Nisga’a full control of roughly 2,000 square kilometres of land in the Nass Valley of northwestern B.C.

Located at Wil Milit on the border of Alaska and within the Nisga’a territory, it is clear that the Ksi Lisims LNG project is for the Nisga’a Nation to decide on whether or not to go ahead with development – and for them only - given the federal government's "royal assent" induction of UNDRIP legislation into Canadian law in 2021.

#2- Economic Reconciliation & Own-Source Revenues

Canadian LNG to Asia could provide net annual emission reductions equivalent to removing all cars off Canadian road - Copy

Like most Indigenous communities in Canada, the Nisga’a Nation wants to develop its natural resources to bring about jobs and prosperity for its people, and the remote area in general.

"We want to bring sustainable economic activity, not only to the Nass Valley but to the region. It's going to also assist in helping to fight poverty and to bring a prosperous future," said Nisga'a Nation President Eva Clayton, in an interview via CBC.

Located on the tip of northwestern B.C., the new LNG export facility is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will create education, training, employment, contracting and social and cultural investment opportunities for the Nisga’a and Canadians alike. Such a project would help many people living remotely to stay on their land and remain connected to the values and beliefs they hold dear.

Ksi Lisims LNG is expected to generate $55 billion in economic stimulus over its lifespan, which includes activity from the facility, pipeline and natural gas production over 30 years [3].

Let's not give up such an incredible opportunity for rural communities in Canada to less responsible LNG exporters – and approve Ksi Lisims LNG.

#3- Ksi Lisims LNG to Operate with Net-Zero Emissions

Japanese LNG imports in 2021 by country - the world needs more Canadian-made LNG - Copy

Proponents of Ksi Lisims LNG say the facility will operate with net zero emissions within three years of its first shipment. As a result, the project is a natural ‘yes’ in Canada where provincial and federal governments constantly balance emission reductions for climate action and economic opportunities for Canadian families.

Ksi Lisims' pathway to net zero includes using renewable power in combination with strong monitoring and measurement, energy efficiency, purchase of carbon offsets and potential carbon sequestration and storage.

Other studies have also shown the significant effect Canadian-made LNG can have on global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions.

A recent report by Wood Mackenzie found that low-emitting Canadian LNG to Asia to replace coal-fired power generation could create a net emissions equivalent to:

> Removing 41 million cars from Canada’s road (as of 2019, there were only 36 million) OR

> Stopping 188 million passengers from flying London to Vancouver OR

> Building 174 carbon capture and storage projects equivalent to the ‘Quest’ facility in Alberta

Additionally, a 2020 study found that when compared to coal, Canadian LNG to China for power and heat generation could accomplish a 34-62% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per unit of electricity generated.

Ksi Lisims LNG will provide Asian buyers with the opportunity to switch to natural gas for electricity generation, which would prevent millions of tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere every year – as coal-to-gas switching already has since 2012 [4].

#4- B.C. Regulator’s Decision on Cedar LNG Project

Canadian LNG can provide security of supply for developing countries in Asia - Copy

British Columbia recently announced the approval of another Indigenous-led project Cedar LNG, stating that it would help fight climate change due to a net reduction in global GHGs despite an increase at the provincial level.

British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office (BCEAO) found that substituting Cedar LNG’s clean natural gas for coal-fired power generation in nations like China could accomplish an emissions reduction of up to 40%.

The BCEAO’s decision to focus on global emissions should be a shining example of how Canada can develop its LNG sector to benefit Canadian families and Indigenous communities while taking action on climate.

GHGs don’t respect international borders; therefore, if we can significantly reduce global emissions by seeing a slight increase in our own, we shouldn’t blink an eye in saying ‘yes’ to Indigenous-led projects like Ksi Lisims LNG.

World-class Canadian LNG projects powered largely by our immense hydroelectric grid are a win for our local communities and the global environment, period.

#5- Global Energy Security & LNG Demand

global LNG demand projected to skyrocket by 2040 - up 90% over 2021 levels - Copy

Global energy security concerns and growing LNG demand are two more reasons why approving Ksi Lisims LNG is in the best interests of Canadians.

Shell’s latest LNG outlook projects global demand to grow 90% by 2040 over 2021 levels. Meanwhile, energy shortages in Europe and elsewhere around the globe highlight the need for more sustainable and reliable sources of natural gas.

There are few better places for Asia to get the LNG it needs than Canada. Not only are shipping distances shorter (emitting less GHGs in transit), but Canadian facilities like Ksi Lisims LNG are expected to produce some of the least-carbon-intensive LNG in the world.

Furthermore, Canada is one of the most responsible and reliable energy producers, and one of the last remaining major democratic energy exporters on the planet. Asian buyers will be assured that supplies won’t be cut off at a whim, as we have seen with autocratic energy exporters in the 1970s and 2020s.

Ksi Lisims LNG will advance economic reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, create jobs and opportunities for rural Canadians, help improve global energy security, generate billions in economic activity and deliver net zero LNG to energy-hungry markets across Asia for decades.

It only makes sense that Ksi Lisims LNG gets a stamp of approval come time for its review by the federal minister. To do otherwise would go against everything our country - and the West - stands for and values.

Ksi Lisims LNG Quick Facts

  • Indigenous-led project by Nisga’a Nation
  • Other proponents include Western LNG and Rockies LNG
  • Located at Wil Milit, on the border of northwestern B.C and Alaska
  • Facility itself is projected to cost $10 billion
  • A projected $50-$55 billion in economic activity will be brought to the region
  • To create 4,000 jobs during construction, plus many permanent positions once complete
  • To generate substantial tax revenues for local, provincial and federal governments
  • Ksi Lisims LNG has promised to be net-zero within three years of its first shipment

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1 – Twitter, Canada Energy Regulator, Tweet on December 14th, 2022 (https://twitter.com/CER_REC/status/1603159060970622977)

2 – Ksi Lisims LNG, Date Accessed: December 2022 (https://www.ksilisimslng.com/)

3 – CBC - B.C. First Nation and partners propose new $10B LNG megaproject, Date Accessed: December 2022 (https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/bakx-ksi-lisims-lng-1.6107901)

4 – International Energy Agency - The Role of Gas in Today’s Energy Transition, Date Accessed: December 2022 (https://www.iea.org/reports/the-role-of-gas-in-todays-energy-transitions)

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