Year 1 focussed on Consultation
Gazoduq today reported on its first year of activities since the announcement of its underground natural gas transmission line project in November 2018. The company also confirms that it will soon open an office in Rouyn-Noranda and reiterates its commitment that the project will never be used for any other purpose than to transport natural gas.
Increasing opportunities for dialogue since 2018
From the outset, Gazoduq has ensured that it effectively engages with Indigenous communities enabling them to, amongst others, assess the project’s impact on their traditional activities. Discussions, which are part of a broad consultation process, will be continued until the gas transmission line is in service and thereafter.
In addition to the discussions with Indigenous communities, the Gazoduq team met with a couple hundred organizations and 600 citizens in 2019 with the objective of building relationships of trust. These meetings have increased our team’s knowledge of the territory, as we continue to strive to minimize the project’s environmental and social impacts, and to increase its positive benefits for host communities.
Striving to develop a route which minimizes impacts between northeastern Ontario and Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean
The initial purpose of the consultation process was to work with communities to determine a preferred planning area which strives to minimize impacts within a study corridor. This corridor was voluntarily located far away from densely populated areas and took into account many sensitive areas such as Lac Saint-Jean, the Gouin Reservoir, Lac Abitibi and woodland caribou distribution ranges, as well as protected and recreational areas (ZEC, outfitting operations, etc.). In response to requests from communities, the 780-km preferred planning area was established with the intention of avoiding wildlife habitats and biodiversity reserves, parks, known protected areas, areas of ecological interest, lakes and known municipal drinking water supply protection areas.
A commitment to support economic and social development
As a result of the consultations and dialogue, Gazoduq has developed a unique, tailor-made formula that will allow the company to make a meaningful contribution of roughly $36 million per year to the host communities in Quebec and Ontario once the project is in operations. This amount represents the annual recurring benefits that Gazoduq would provide to the communities in the form of taxes and through the Community Fund.
A pledge to use the transmission line for natural gas only
In response to concerns raised that the natural gas transmission line could at some point be used to transport oil, Gazoduq wishes to confirm its position on this matter in its annual activity report. The company’s position is clear: under no circumstances could the project become something else or serve any purpose other than for natural gas transportation. From both a technical and a regulatory perspectives, the right-of-way (the cleared corridor) can be used for one project only, the underground natural gas transmission line.
Opening of a new office
Gazoduq confirms today that in addition to the teams already working in the various communities covered by the project, it will open an office in Abitibi in the coming weeks. While some details remain to be finalized, we are pleased to confirm that the office will be located in Rouyn-Noranda.
Consultations and environmental assessments to be continued in 2020
During this coming winter, the company will pursue its public consultations on topics of interest pertaining to the impact assessment to be filed in 2020.
Consultations with Indigenous communities will also be continued at the same time.
In addition, Gazoduq is continuing its environmental assessments with the applicable provincial and federal government authorities.
“We’re proud of the relationships we have developed with communities and with the rigorous process put in place to ensure the public can actively contribute to the project development. We consider this input extremely valuable. As we move into this new year, we intend to continue the dialogue, make sure we communicate accurate information about the project, and deliver on our commitment to be transparent with the local and Indigenous communities.”
Louis Bergeron, President, Gazoduq
Gazoduq Inc. is a Quebec company led by a highly skilled team with extensive experience and expertise in large-scale North American natural gas transmission line projects. It is supported by major investors with international expertise in developing large-scale natural gas projects. Gazoduq intends to build an underground natural gas transmission line, nearly 780 km long, between northeastern Ontario and Saguenay to supply its main customer, the future Énergie Saguenay liquefaction plant. This natural gas will be exported to Asia and Europe to replace more polluting forms of energy, like coal and oil. The project represents an investment of $5 billion, which will generate significant economic benefits for Quebec and Ontario, and will contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions worldwide.
Senior Advisor, Communications and Media Relations