Goldboro LNG

Location:

Canada

Project risks:

Environmental Destruction, Litigation, Social Harm

Companies:

  • Pieridae Energy Ltd

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Map of the proposed Goldboro facility in Nova Scotia and connecting pipeline. Credit: Fractracker Alliance

Pieridae Energy Ltd. is intimidating activists who have exposed the company’s difficulties to get financing for its LNG project.14509 The Canadian company needs billions of dollars to build an LNG facility in Goldboro, Canada.14511 LNG is liquified fossil gas cooled down to -162°C (-259.6°F) to form a liquid that can be transported in LNG carriers. This environmentally harmful gas consists almost entirely of methane.14513 Unknown to many, methane has an 86 times stronger warming effect as a greenhouse gas than CO2 over a 20-year period.14515

LNG terminals are used to export and import liquified gas. In Goldboro, Pieridae Energy wants to either construct a terminal on land or use a floating facility to liquefy the gas and then export it across the Atlantic to Europe.1451714519 This would cost billions of dollars. Already in 2013, the Canadian oil and gas company asked the German government for a loan of USD 4.5 billion. All Pieridae Energy got was a letter of intent.14521 However, the German government is still considering lending the money to Pieridae Energy in return for a part of the exported liquified fossil gas.14523

In March 2020, Andy Gheorghiu made Pieridae Energy’s financial dilemma public. The environmental campaigner and climate consultant together with fellow Canadian activists wrote a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau. They also sent the letter to Nova Scotia’s Premier Iain Rankin and other Canadian politicians. In the letter, they asked the politicians to deny Pieridae Energy’s secret request for almost USD 1 billion of funding from the Nova Scotian government.14521 The activists had found the information in an internal company presentation.14525

After the information became public, Nova Scotia decided not to fund the project.14527 In response, Pieridae Energy threatened Andy Gheorghiu and the other activists with legal action. The company said that it will take them to court for making its need for money public.14529

Pieridae Energy’s funding problems just don’t seem to go away. For the export of LNG, Pieridae Energy signed a 20-year supply contract with German energy utility Uniper. Due to its poor financial situation, Pieridae Energy has had to amend the contract five times already.14531 Until today, the company has not managed to secure an investor and make the final investment decision on Goldboro LNG.1453314535 Still, Pieridae refuses to give up on its hopes to revive the shelved project.1452714537

Pieridae Energy never clarified where the gas for Goldboro LNG would come from. It has made various announcements to use gas from Alberta or import fracked gas from Pennsylvania in the US via the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline.14539145411454314545 Pipelines are among the largest source of methane emissions. Along the entire LNG supply chain, maintenance work causes regular pipeline leakages. The companies release unwanted methane into the atmosphere.14547 This causes methane plumes and poisonous vapor. The emitted gases cause heart diseases, asthma and cancer.14549 This directly effects indigenous people, like the Mi'kmaq First Nations people, and wildlife that live along the pipeline route from the Northeastern USA to Canada’s Atlantic coast.

The gas that runs through the pipelines is fracked gas.1454314545 Fracking is an incredibly dirty oil and gas extraction method. High-pressure fluid is injected into rocks to crack them open and release oil and gas. The process consumes massive amounts of water, sets free methane emissions and poisonous chemicals. The chemicals can poison the groundwater and lead to birth defects in people and animals that live close-by. Fracking can also cause earthquakes.14551

Local and international activists have been protesting across Canada for the past few years. They have blockaded train lines to protest against LNG terminals.14553 As a result, the American investor Warren Buffet decided not to fund the Saguenay LNG Terminal in Quebec with USD 4 billion. The intense opposition against the project became a reputational risk for his asset management firm.1455514557 The Goldboro LNG project nearby poses the same risk to investors.

Pieridae Energy is using an army of lawyers to silence those who speak up against Goldboro LNG. Still, their voices of resistance carry across the globe.

Mi'kmaw activists protest against the proposed workcamp in Goldboro, Nova Scotia. Credit: Angela Giles, Council of Canadians

Groups working on Goldboro LNG: Goldboro – parlons-en, Environnement Vert Plus, the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance, Nova Scotia's NOFRAC, the Citizens Oil and Gas Council in Alberta

Sources:

https://globalnews.ca/news/7750777/non-profit-quebec-law-centre-aid-environment…
https://www.theenergymix.com/2021/03/31/pieridae-demands-925m-federal-subsidy-f…
https://www.nrdc.org/stories/liquefied-natural-gas-101
https://www.carbonbrief.org/scientists-concerned-by-record-high-global-methane-…
https://www.offshore-energy.biz/pieridaes-goldboro-lng-eligible-for-german-loan/
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-pieridae-considers-plan-for-fu…
https://www.urgewald.org/downloads/pieridae-letter-sent-canadian-politicians-ac…
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-german-chancellor-olaf-scholz-…
https://www.urgewald.org/downloads/pieridae-letter-sent-canadian-politicians-ac…
https://www.halifaxexaminer.ca/featured/slapped-silly-the-company-promoting-the…