Ikhil gets federal funding
Aboriginal Business Canada offers $500,000 for project

by Ian Elliot
Northern News Services

NNSL (Mar 27/98) - The Ikhil gas project got a half-million dollar shot in the arm from a federal agency that supports native-owned businesses this week.

On Tuesday, Aboriginal Business Canada announced it would kick in $500,000 towards the $4.3-million project scheduled to begin providing Inuvik with natural gas from the petroleum reserve 50 kilometres north of town in 1999. The money will be used for the project's seismic program, engineering and environmental and regulatory hearings.

The reservoir was purchased from Gulf Canada by the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, which is operating it through its petroleum corporation. It has signed a 15-year deal with the NWT Power Corporation to supply the town with natural gas through an yet-to-be-laid underground pipeline. It is also negotiating with Consumer's Gas for an in-town network of pipe to supply businesses and homes.

Aboriginal Business Canada supported the deal due to the number of jobs the project is expected to create: 315 person-years of employment, half of which will be for natives, the agency said this week.

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