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July 16, 2018

LNG Canada to hire mainly Canadian workers for $40-billion project construction in Kitimat


LNG Canada will hire primarily Canadian workers to build a planned terminal to export liquefied natural gas from Kitimat, B.C., newly released briefing notes for B.C.’s NDP minority government show.

The employment strategy is in sharp contrast to the abandoned plans by now-defunct rival Pacific NorthWest LNG, which would have use far more foreign workers for a site near Prince Rupert, according to the notes government officials prepared for Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC and four co-owners of LNG Canada are expected to decide by the end of 2018 whether to forge ahead with the massive project in Kitimat.

Pacific NorthWest LNG, led by Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas, announced in July, 2017, that it had cancelled its plans to build an export terminal on Lelu Island in the Port of Prince Rupert. But Petronas disclosed in May, less than a year later, that it had signed a deal to become the second-largest partner in LNG Canada.
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Before the cancellation of Pacific NorthWest LNG, Petronas estimated that foreign workers would account for almost 40 per cent of the 4,000 people required to build its terminal. At the peak of construction, the project would have had about 1,540 foreign workers and 2,460 Canadians.

During the final two years of the five-year construction, foreign workers would have accounted for 70 per cent of Pacific NorthWest LNG’s work force.

“PNW LNG proposed to employ temporary foreign workers [TFWs] for up to 70 per cent of its work force, while 95 per cent of LNG Canada’s work force will be comprised of Canadians,” said the briefing notes, which are in question-and-answer format.

The notes said LNG Canada envisages foreign staff accounting for 5 per cent of its construction work force of 4,500: “We expect LNG Canada to seek to bring this small percentage of TFWs to fill jobs for which unique skills are required.”

The B.C. government recently released the notes from March, 2018 – titled LNG Framework Q&A – in response to a freedom of information request.

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