The proponents of the Mackenzie Gas Project reiterated the need for federal government support of the 1,200-kilometer natural gas pipeline amid a CBC report the $16.2-billion project could gain cabinet approval as early as this week.
“Should we obtain this approval, which would make regulatory approval of the Mackenzie Gas Project final … then our intent would be to reengage with the federal government in discussions on a fiscal framework for the project,” Imperial Oil spokesperson Pius Rolheiser said on Monday.
Rolheiser said the proponents and the federal government paused talks in early 2010 while they waited for the outcome of the regulatory process.
In December, the National Energy Board (NEB) approved the project with a list of 264 conditions. Cabinet approval would be the “final step” in the process, Rolheiser said.
“From our perspective, our intent has been from the outset, and remains, to work with the government to develop an agreement on a fiscal framework that makes sense for the project, and that provides an appropriate balance of risk and benefit – both for the proponents and for the federal government,” he continued. “We’ve been clear from the outset – we aren’t looking for a subsidy. That’s not what this is about.”
NWT Industry Minister Bob McLeod said federal support is integral and could come in the form of loan guarantees.
“We certainly feel in order for the proponents to make a decision, the two parties – the federal government and the proponents – have to negotiate a fiscal framework,” he said.
Aboriginal Pipeline Group chairman Fred Carmichael said the proponents have no indication when the project might get cabinet approval.
“We don’t know when,” he said. “All we know is (it’ll be) sometime by late January, or early February.”