Cullen Says Petronas Possible Shipping Move to Ridley Island “A good first step”
Prince George, B.C.- Word that Petronas is thinking about moving its planned LNG ship loading away from Lelu Island is being welcomed by Skeena- Bulkley MP Nathan Cullen.
Late last month there were indications Petronas is considering moving the docking facility to Ridley Island a move which could at least reduce opposition to the LNG project.
The company had already proposed moving the docking facility out of the area known as Flora Banks by extending a dock out to deeper waters. “I am encouraged that Petronas may finally be acknowledging the depth of opposition to the risk its project poses to irreplaceable salmon habitat and eelgrass beds at Flora Banks,” Cullen said.
Cullen termed a potential move to Ridley “a good first step” to addressing what some consider the project’s greatest environmental risks. He stressed, however, that a multitude of other Tsimshian and upriver concerns, as well as protection of all of Lelu Island, must be satisfied for area residents to agree to the project.
“Here in the Northwest, we know we don’t have to sacrifice our values or our salmon for good jobs,” Cullen said. “Industries that want to set up shop in our backyard must understand and respect this.”
Flora Banks contains up to 60% of Skeena Estuary eelgrass stocks and is a critical nursery habitat for salmon smolts. Cullen has been supportive of moving even a portion of Petronas operations to Ridley Island to ease project pressure on Flora Banks.
Petronas is seeking to move ahead with a proposed $27 billion liquefied natural gas plant on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert. Shifting fuel shipping operations to Ridley Island could save Petronas millions of dollars in construction costs and may reduce local opposition.
It has been reported the LNG produced at Lelu Island would then be moved by pipeline to Ridley Island for shipping. It is not yet clear if this proposal would need to undergo a new series of environmental assessments.