NewsMay 20, 2020

Our safety first, community first approach to return-to-work

At LNG Canada, safety is our top priority. Through the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve demonstrated our commitment to protecting our people and our communities by taking firm and prudent steps to reduce the risk of illness at our project site in Kitimat. I want to thank everyone associated with our project for respecting and following those protective measures.

While many of the steps we’ve taken are likely to remain in effect for some time, we’re approaching a new phase, taking direction and guidance as always from the Government of B.C., public health officials, First Nations and local stakeholders.

On May 6, Premier John Horgan presented his government’s plan to move forward and put the province on the path to a “new normal.” B.C.’s Restart Plan outlines a methodical, graduated approach to resuming business and social activities in the province. We are encouraged by this plan, as we consider our own carefully-staged return to workplace activities.

As noted in my last Open Letter and in our frequent COVID-19 response updates, LNG Canada, our prime contractor JGC Fluor and our subcontractors have significantly reduced the workforce at our project site. We achieved this draw-down while our project continues to employ as many local workers as possible; this represents one of our important commitments to the community. Through this period, we have been conducting essential work only, including environmentally-sensitive work to protect birds, fish and water, regulatory requirement activities, and schedule-sensitive activities.

While work deemed non-essential remains on pause, JGC Fluor continues with schedule-sensitive activities such as the construction of our workforce accommodation centre, Cedar Valley Lodge, which will open later this year and provide project workers some of the safest, most comfortable lodgings ever designed, right on the project site itself. This cautious ramp-up of activity will only continue if we are sure that we can continue to protect the community and project workers from COVID-19.

Workers including those accommodated in existing lodges continue to follow directives and measures to help prevent the spread of illness and avoid contact with the community. The steps that we and our contractors have taken remain consistent with provincial and federal policies, including the provincial guidance and direction to industrial camps, best practices recommended by the Provincial Health Officer, the Northern Health authority, the BC Centre for Disease Control, Work Safe BC and other government and health care bodies.

We take great pride in our record of safety, in our ability to respond to challenges that come our way, and in our commitments to community. And we look forward to playing a key role helping drive an economic recovery in B.C. and the rest of Canada. Rest assured, we are up for that job. The COVID-19 pandemic has created setbacks in all sectors of the economy, everywhere, but it hasn’t changed our determination to contribute, and to succeed.

Nor has the current situation diminished the need for cleaner, more sustainable energy, at home and abroad. Indeed, that need will become even more pronounced in the years to come. Recently, we saw news reports citing opinions from two energy experts at different Canadian universities. They both agreed that our industry has a positive long-term forecast, a view informed by the global switch from coal to gas now underway, and on increasing demand for cleaner energy in Asia. That’s where we come in. We’re confident that once in operation, the LNG Canada plant will provide the world’s cleanest LNG, with the lowest carbon intensity.

That has always been our objective, one that we continue to pursue responsibly and safely, providing opportunity for British Columbia, and energy for the world.

Thank you and stay safe.

Peter Zebedee
CEO, LNG Canada

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Open letter from Peter Zebedee, CEO of LNG Canada, May 20, 2020
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