Pieridae wants $ 925 million from Canadian government to restart Goldboro LNG plant


A slide of a PowerPoint presentation Pieridae gave to federal officials in December.

Pieridae Energy, the company behind the liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant project to be located in Goldboro, Nova Scotia, has asked the Canadian federal government for $ 925 million in grants, loans or loan guarantees. to start the project.

The request was made through a PowerPoint presentation last December and was apparently part of a lobbying blitz Pieridae was undertaking on Parliament Hill. As the Halifax Examiner reported on Friday, Pieridae hired Luka Stevanovic, senior consultant at Maple Leaf Strategies, to lobby on her behalf.

Lobbyists Registry files show that on December 10, Stevanovic spoke with Deliah Bernard, Regional Assistant, Atlantic and Quebec for Indigenous Services Canada, and Jordano Nudo, a policy advisor with Indigenous Services Canada, discussing “Aboriginal Affairs, Economic Development, Industry, Energy, Employment and Training.

On December 17, Stevanovic spoke with Mike Kelloway, Member of Parliament for Cape Breton – Canso, the riding in which the proposed LNG plant is located.

Prior to December, Stevanovic had spoken several times with Sean Fraser, the MP for Central Nova. The Examiner understands that Fraser is the spearhead of the Pieridae effort.

Neither Kelloway nor Fraser responded to requests for comment. Likewise, Pieridae spokesperson James Millar did not respond to a request for comment. If any of them respond, we’ll update this article.

The Pieridae proposal calls for natural gas from Alberta to be delivered through new and expanded pipelines to Nova Scotia, where it will be liquefied at the Goldboro plant. This LNG would then be pumped into giant LNG carriers which will transport the LNG across the Atlantic to a new terminal to be built by the energy company Uniper in Wilhelmshaven, Germany; there, the gas will be regasified and distributed to German homes and businesses.

The PowerPoint presentation indicates that Pieridae wants the Canadian federal government to provide a “grant / repayable contribution” of $ 925 million, which represents 7.5% of the total cost of the $ 12.25 billion project. The funding is needed, says the PowerPoint presentation, because “to maintain Pieridae’s commitments to Uniper and the German Federal Government, a Final Investment Decision (FID) must be taken by June 2021 and we must start construction of the pre-site at the end of the first quarter or beginning of the second quarter 2021.

As Joan Baxter reported in October:

In 2013, Pieridae’s Goldboro LNG Limited signed a 20-year agreement with Germany’s Uniper Global Commodities that would purchase five million tonnes per year of LNG from the Goldboro plant (in 2020, a Finnish utility company purchased Uniper).

Since Pieridae signed the agreement with Uniper, it has been amended five times because it could not meet the agreed delivery date for LNG. The most recent addendum, in April 2020, places the first delivery date between August 31, 2025 and February 28, 2026.

In addition to the repeated delays of the Pieridae project, citing poor market conditions, Uniper has suspended its regasification project at Wilhelmshaven.

Pieridae also says she secured $ 4.5 billion in funding from the German government for the project, but when Baxter contacted the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy to ask about the loan, he was told that:

We can hereby confirm that we are aware of the respective Goldboro LNG project in Nova Scotia and that a Letter of Interest (LOI) has been issued by the German government. This letter of intent is legally non-binding and expresses only that the project can be considered as eligible provided that certain criteria are met. Letter of Intent can be issued to support a German buyer [buyer of the LNG] in the bidding process.

Please note that a final and binding decision on whether or not to grant a UFK requires a prior assessment of the economic, technical and legal aspects in detail and compliance with internationally accepted environmental, social and human rights standards. This assessment will be carried out as part of the regular application procedure once a formal application has been filed.

No claims have been filed so far and therefore the respective due diligence of the respective project has not been initiated and no approval or binding decision on the granting of a UFK guarantee has been taken.

We asked Pieridae Energy to avoid ambiguous formulations in this context. [emphasis added]

So it appears that Uniper and the German government funding legs for the Pieridae project are on shaky ground, and Pieridae wants to solidify that ground with funding from the Canadian government.

In the PowerPoint presentation, Pieridae said he “will raise most of the funding for the project – about $ 12.25 billion – through private sector funding.” But private funding is barely “the bulk” of the funding, as the German and Canadian governments together will fund more than 44% of the project costs.

Suspicious allegation of climate change

The PowerPoint presentation also contains a claim that the Goldboro plant “can meet a net zero emissions future.”

How the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels for 20 years not to increase greenhouse gas emissions?

The PowerPoint presentation cites three “paths” to net zero carbon emissions:

1) Source of natural gas produced with emission intensity in line with net zero emissions

2) Reduce emissions from the LNG terminal

3) Purchase offsets for emissions above the net zero benchmark identified in this analysis

All three allegations are suspect.

“Natural gas extraction releases fugitive or uncontrollable methane emissions, in addition to releasing carbon emissions during combustion”, Gurprasad Gurumurthy, the energy coordinator of the Ecological Action Center notifies the examiner. “Carbon capture and storage technologies do not operate at 100% efficiency and only have a maximum efficiency of 70-80% in large point sources such as thermal power plants. In addition, there are other emissions from project operations that must be taken into account. We want to move away from building such an infrastructure that perpetuates the use of fossil fuels in the long run. Overall, fossil fuel based projects such as the Pieridae project are inconsistent with a net zero future ”

You can see Pieridae’s PowerPoint presentation here.

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