Swiss utility Axpo Group stepped forward Thursday as the second prospective European customer for liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the proposed Goldboro export terminal on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia.
A 10-year contract is under negotiation with the Canadian project for a supply volume, not yet determined or disclosed, that would be put on gas markets throughout Europe, the Swiss firm confirmed.
Goldboro sponsor Pieridae Energy announced in May a deal was being sought but did not identity the customer. The project previously established a European marketing arrangement with German trader Uniper Global Commodities.
Pieridae has disclosed that pricing in its proposed sales follows an index that tracks the NBP or National Balancing Point, the European natural gas benchmark, a counterpart to the Henry Hub as the reference point trading on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Pieridae also said it has retained KfW IPEX-Bank to help seek a loan guarantee for Goldboro LNG from a German government energy incentive program. The Canadian firm previously obtained a European accounting firm opinion that it could qualify for a US$3 billion guarantee, provided part of Goldboro’s planned supplies are dedicated to German markets. With the bank’s help, an even larger guarantee will be sought, said Pieridae.
The company also has signed on Morgan Stanley & Co. and SG Americas Securities LLC as financial advisers. The project risks losing its Nova Scotia environmental approval and site near the provincial capital in Halifax unless it has a final investment decision by the end of the year and construction starts by March 19.
The Goldboro LNG project would be adjacent to the northern end of the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline (M&NE), a nearly 900-mile line connecting Atlantic Canada and the U.S. Northeast. Project investor presentations predicted 73% of the gas would be obtained from Western Canada by a roundabout route through U.S. connections with the gas then flowing north on M&NE. The rest of the supplies would originate in the northeastern United States and Eastern Canada.
Pieridae added it is continuing to seek a gas supply for the Goldboro project, which calls for a C$10.6 billion ($8.6 billion) terminal to export 1.4 Bcf/d.