The McLeod Lake Indian Band (MLIB) and the Province of British Columbia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that strengthens their relationship and lays the foundation for a proposed Tse’khene energy transition hub, supporting economic reconciliation and development for the region through the production of low-carbon energy.
“This partnership between the Province and the McLeod Lake Indian Band creates the foundation for exciting economic projects that will provide direct benefits to the region and help lower emissions,” said Premier David Eby. “By working together, we can advance economic reconciliation, create strong economic growth, create good jobs and meet our climate goals.”
The MLIB has worked to develop a Tse’khene energy transition hub into a viable project and has secured several world-class industry partners that are pursuing definitive agreements in order to further advance multiple on-reserve projects. The first proposed project is a hydrogen production facility that would help to significantly reduce emissions in industries that are hard to decarbonize.
George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy said “This new collaborative initiative advances our shared goals of reconciliation.” He added “Through partnering with First Nations, like the McLeod Lake Indian Band, we support reconciliation and economic growth, safeguard the environment, and help to reach our goal of reducing emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 by increasing clean-energy production for British Columbia.”
The second proposed project is a straddle plant that would also reduce carbon emissions by extracting high-value natural-gas liquids that would otherwise be burned as by-products in the gas distribution system. Collectively, the projects are worth approximately $7 billion and could create as many as 2,000 construction jobs and 500 permanent, full-time jobs.
“The MLIB values its partnership and collaboration with the Province and the BC Energy Regulator as it advances the development of billions of dollars of on-reserve clean energy infrastructure,” said MLIB Chief Harley Chingee. “My message to our band members is that we have been working hard to develop an environmentally and culturally responsible opportunity that, if successful, will make us a key contributor to a clean-energy future while also delivering much-deserved prosperity to our band and its members. My message to industry is that the MLIB is a commercially sophisticated and enthusiastic potential partner.”
The MOU will help to build a longstanding and successful partnership between MLIB and the Province as well as the British Columbia Energy Regulator. As well, it will promote even greater clarity of responsibilities and collaboration between the parties on critical issues related to economic reconciliation and energy production.
The parties are collaborating on a detailed action plan to follow the MOU to help guide the work required during the term of the agreement.
The Tse’khene energy transition hub will be further supported by the newly established Clean Energy and Major Projects Office to help the project navigate regulatory processes.
The McLeod Lake Indian Band is located 140 Kms north of Prince George.