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Haisla, Seaspan partner on $500M LNG tug enterprise

Haisla First Nation teams up with Seaspan on contract worth $500 million
LNG carriers will be escorted by tug from Triple Island, 159 nautical miles away, into Kitimat harbour

The Haisla First Nation and Seaspan Marine Transportation have won a $500 million contract from LNG Canada to provide a tug service for LNG carriers.

The Haisla and Seaspan have formed a joint partnership called HaiSea Marine, which will build and operate tugboats to escort LNG carriers in and out of the harbour in Kitimat.

The contract is valued at $500 million over 12 years and will employ 70 mariners and six onshore staff. Training will be provided by Seaspan Marine Transportation.

“HaiSea Marine is majority-owned by the Haisla,” said Haisla Chief Councillor Crystal Smith. “Our agreement with Seaspan ensures our members will have access to employment, training and procurement opportunities on the contract with LNG Canada. The opportunity to work locally in the marine industry is of great significance to the Haisla people.”

Other neighbouring First Nations – the Gitxaala Nation and Gitga'at – will also benefit from the project through a transit agreement with the Haisla.

Harbour tugs are required to bring LNG carriers in and out of the harbour to the terminal in Kitimat, where LNG Canada will build its LNG plant. They will be escorted some 159 nautical miles from Triple Island into Kitimat harbour.

Vancouver-based naval architectural and marine engineering firm Robert Allan Ltd. has been contracted to design the new tugs.

“LNG Canada has committed to ensuring benefits from our project accrue to First Nations, local communities and BC businesses, and this contract is part of that commitment,” said Peter Zebedee, LNG Canada's new CEO.

“The legacy the LNG Canada project will leave, in part, is the long-term, high-skilled jobs for First Nations and local community members. HaiSea was selected because they were able to demonstrate technical capability, operational expertise, and training at world class levels.”