New pipeline construction contracts for northern native-owned firms have accelerated preparations for a quick start on building a long-awaited liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal on the Pacific coast of British Columbia (BC).

TransCanada Corp. has awarded a dozen native enterprises C$620 million ($496 million) in work on its planned Coastal GasLink from BC shale/tight gas production fields, 670 kilometers (416 miles) to the proposed LNG Canada terminal at Kitimat.

More contracts to come will raise the pipeline project’s native content to about C$1 billion ($800 million), TransCanada said. The roles include clearing and grading the right-of-way, gravel handling, access roads, camp and storage sites and services, materials hauling, welding, installation, cleanups and reclamation.

A native business coalition, the First Nations LNG Alliance, said the contracting “tells an important story” that counters BC’s political and media images as a hotbed of united, dogmatic aboriginal and environmental opposition to industry.

“There is strong First Nations support in BC for responsible LNG development and for the natural-gas projects and pipelines that will feed the export plants.”

The native work assignments followed an announcement last week of C$2.8 billion ($2.2 billion) in Coastal GasLink contracts for an international team of veteran pipeline construction firms.

Total costs for the line, using jumbo pipe 48 inches in diameter, are estimated at C$4.7 billion ($3.8 billion). The plan calls for initial deliveries of 2 Bcf/d, followed by traffic growth using compressor additions to as much as 5 Bcf/d as LNG exports eventually increase from BC

All the construction contracts have been awarded “conditionally,” to be done only if the international LNG Canada consortium makes a final investment decision to build the proposed C$14 billion ($11billion) Kitimat terminal.

The project remains under review. The BC government has given LNG Canada until November to accept an incentive offer of C$6 billion ($4.8 billion) in provincial income, sales and carbon tax cuts.