Three Yukon First Nations have formed a business partnership to develop a liquefied natural gas industry in the territory.
The Vuntut Gwitchin, Na-Cho Nyak Dun and the Tr'ondek Hwech'in are behind Dempster Energy Services. The new company is studying whether the Yukon could support its own LNG plant.
“What we’re trying to do as First Nations is get involved with some major infrastructure projects,” says Ron Daub, who works with the Vuntut Gwich'in.
Daub says they believe LNG is right fuel for Yukon. But, he says, it will only make sense if large-scale mines buy-in. “The big consumers are the potential mines, the Victoria Golds, the casinos, the Selwyns that are out there.”
One possibility is importing natural gas from British Columbia. Another would be drilling for natural gas in Yukon.
“We all know that a local supply of natural gas is probably the most advantageous with the economic indicators,” Daub says. “To use local gas would create more jobs locally and the dollars stay here.”
The federal government has invested $1 million over two years in the study, with the First Nations could add up to a half a million more. The study should be completed next summer.