With a newly elected chief and council, the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation is reaffirming its commitment to developing two natural gas projects.
Lheidli T’enneh has partnered with McLeod Lake Indian Band to develop the Shas Ti-Dlezeh Industrial Park, 40 km north of Prince George, and along with Formula Capital Corporation (FCL) are planning to develop a natural gas processing complex within the park.
“I feel positive in this new adventure we are taking,” said Lheidli T’enneh Chief Dolleen Logan, in today’s (May 12) press conference announcing the reaffirmed partnership with McLeod Lake and FCL.
“I am excited about these two new projects and that we are working together with McLeod Lake because we do have a shared territory, and we are working closely with our neighbours, and Formula has come into join us to help move our nations forward.”
McLeod Lake Indian Band Youth Councillor Jade Duranleau said this announcement emphasizes the importance of partnerships with First Nations.
“I think it demonstrates a really good path forward for First Nations partnering with major projects and showing that moving forward major projects should be partnering with First Nations and First Nations should be having that equity stake.”
FCL CEO Paul Tiefensee also reconfirmed the company’s involvement with the processing complex.
“We are looking forward to exploring and moving on with our relationship and getting some rubber to the road and developing a legacy project that the two nations will not only build, but own and I think that is fantastic for Prince George to set that example."
He said the project is still in the pre-feasibility stage to determine the exact scope but it could be anywhere from a $1 billion to a $2 billion investment.
“We understand what it costs, we understand what the scope is, and we have hired some really good consultants to get us through some of those stages and once we know what that project looks like we can start to talk about the costs and how we are going to fund it.”
In terms of how many jobs the proposed project could bring to the region, Tiefensee said it is too early in the process to commit to an exact number.
“Until we know what the project looks like we need to be careful what we commit to and promise until we know exactly what that means,” said Tiefensee, before adding: “There will be a substantial amount of jobs created in the construction of the industrial park, and in the NGL facility – there will also be ongoing jobs to operate both of those.”
Lheildi T’enneh Nation and McLeod Lake Indian Band have been working together on these projects since June 2020 and announced FCL’s involvement in February.
Both nations say they feel strongly that projects like this be led by local First Nations and be constructed in partnership with local companies and communities.