Speaking Notes
Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources
Hebron Announcement
August 20, 2008

  • Good afternoon everyone. This is indeed a tremendous day to be Minister of Natural Resources in Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • We have achieved unprecedented local industrial and employment commitments for this development. Our fourth offshore oil project will provide the opportunity for as much work as our fabrication facilities, including Bull Arm and Marystown, can handle.
  • The deal we are announcing today commits more fabrication work within the province than Terra Nova or White Rose. This is a result of our firm stance on maximizing industrial benefits for this province and of the world-class expertise and capacity that we have developed here.
  • The topsides work committed in this agreement will provide significant fabrication employment. Not only will a significant amount of the topsides be constructed in the province, but the detailed engineering associated with each of those components will also be done in the province.
  • During the production phase, we anticipate continued employment for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians over the 20- to-25-year life of the project.
  • This agreement is going to provide significant employment in this province, which will help continue our prosperity.
  • There is another very important component and achievement in this deal that was not included in the Memorandum of Understanding that we signed this time last year.
  • I am pleased to announce today that for the first time in an offshore development agreement in this province, we have negotiated a Gender Equity and Diversity Plan for all phases of the Hebron project.
  • It will have quantifiable objectives and goals that support the creation of a diverse and capable workforce. It will be part of the development plan for the project and it represents a true milestone for our industry and our future workforce.
  • It will include training and recruitment programs and address access to business opportunities for women, aboriginals and disadvantaged groups, including those with disabilities.
  • Responsibility for implementation will be shared by the project operators and major contractors.
  • Through continual evaluation and consultation, the elements of this plan will be in place for all phases and in all places in the province where this work is performed.
  • This is a testament to the strong commitment to diversity and corporate social responsibility of our partners. I want to thank them for seeing the benefit of a program of this nature in developing an industry that truly holds opportunity and benefits for all the people of the province.
  • The signing of the formal agreement is an important step in the execution of this project. With this agreement completed, we can now look forward to the mobilization of a project team and Hebron project office in St. John�s.
  • It is anticipated that a project team consisting of technical and support positions will be ramped up as soon as possible to begin detailed project planning.
  • In the legislature this spring, we brought forward legislation to establish a structure for the province�s energy corporation that would allow it to enter into this agreement today. We have been planning for this day since 2003, when the premier first outlined his vision for the future of the province.
  • The province�s 4.9 per cent equity stake in this project is managed through our energy corporation. We want our energy corporation to participate fully in energy projects and to enter into agreements with private-sector partners, such as the one we are signing today, on behalf of the people of the province.
  • We have set up our energy corporation for success and the signing of this agreement is an important step in taking control of our natural resource developments and our future.
  • I am also taking this opportunity to announce today that the Provincial Government is transferring ownership of the Crown-owned Bull Arm fabrication facility to the energy corporation. This transfer will ensure the facility is ready and available for the Hebron project and construction of the GBS starting in 2012.
  • As a subsidiary of the energy corporation, the Bull Arm Site will benefit from the engineering and energy expertise available within the energy corporation. It is critical that this key asset is available and ready to receive work associated with the major large-scale construction projects we have on the horizon in this province.
  • We need to maximize our fabrication capacity so that we can complete as much work associated with these projects within the province as possible. This will benefit, and fill, all our fabrication facilities.
  • We believe that as a subsidiary of the energy corporation, the Bull Arm Site will be well positioned to maximize the benefits from these major construction projects in the best interest of the people of the province.
  • We have indeed entered a bold new era in this province. I remember the enthusiasm and sense of pride and support that emanated from industry and across the province when the MOU was signed last year.
  • I feel it again in this room today.
  • I want to conclude by joining with the premier in acknowledging the fantastic work that has been done by a dedicated and talented group of professionals that we have working for us in the public service and who brought this deal home. I am very proud of the work by the staff in my department on this important and historic deal for the people of the province. For that, I give my heartfelt thanks and sincere appreciation.
  • Thank you.

News Release - Hebron Agreement Signals New Era in Province�s History

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