Pieridae Energy Ltd. needs billions of dollars to build an LNG facility in Goldboro, Canada.14511 The Canadian company is intimidating activists who have exposed the company’s difficulties to get financing for its LNG project.14509 LNG is liquified fossil gas cooled down to -162°C (-259.6°F) to form a liquid that can be transported in LNG carriers. Fossil gas consists almost entirely of methane, an extremely potent greenhouse gas.14513 If methane is released into the atmosphere, it has a warming effect 86 times stronger 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 The project has long struggled to attract financing. Already in 2013, the Canadian oil and gas company asked the German government for a loan of USD 4.5 billion.15373 All Pieridae Energy got was a letter of intent.14521 The issue of the loan could very well resurface given Germany’s recent push to source LNG from sources outside of Russia.1537315377
Note: Pieridae Energy is not listed on GOGEL 2023. As of November 15 2023, the company therefore does not appear as owner of this project in the info box above, which is based on GOGEL data. Companies with LNG expansion plans are listed on GOGEL based on the prorated capacity of their expansion projects. As the Goldboro LNG plans are currently highly uncertain, it was not possible to attribute a capacity for the project to Pieridae Energy, and the company also does not meet any of the other GOGEL thresholds [https://gogel.org/about-data].
In March 2020, Andy Gheorghiu made Pieridae Energy’s financial dilemma public. Together with fellow activists, the environmental campaigner and climate consultant wrote a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, 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 was ready to take them to court simply 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 in 2013. Due to its poor financial situation, Pieridae Energy has had to amend the contract five times since signing it.14531 Until today, the company has not managed to secure an investor and make the final investment decision (FID) on Goldboro LNG.1453314535 Still, Pieridae refuses to give up on its hopes to revive the project.1452714537 In June 2021, Pieridae missed yet another deadline for an FID. Now, the company is trying to convince skeptics by proposing a smaller version of the LNG terminal.15379
Pieridae Energy never clarified where the gas for Goldboro LNG would come from. It has made different claims, such as sourcing gas from Alberta or importing fracked gas from Pennsylvania in the US via the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline.14539145411454314545 Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is a controversial oil and gas extraction method for a number of reasons. The process consumes massive amounts of water, releases poisonous chemicals and causes methane emissions. Fracking has also been linked to an increase in earthquakes in areas surrounding extraction sites.15381 The chemicals can poison the groundwater and cause defects in people and animals.15383 Fracking is the most common way of extracting gas in Alberta, which is otherwise known for its destructive tar sands production.
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 nearby Goldboro LNG project 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.
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