An aboriginal affairs obstacle has been cleared from the Goldboro LNG plan to launch natural gas exports from Canada’s Atlantic coast.
The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB) scrapped an Oct. 15 hearing for the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility, which was scheduled last month to review a complaint by a branch of the province’s Mi’kmaq community, Sipekne’katik First Nation.
The cancellation followed a letter to the UARB from tribal chief Michael Sack, who formally withdrew objections to the project sponsored by Pieridae Energy Ltd.
“Sipekne'katik is satisfied that any aboriginal and treaty rights of Sipekne'katik will not be diminished nor impinged,” wrote Sack.
The UARB’s hearing cancellation notice said, “No other First Nation or body in Nova Scotia has raised any concern.” As a result, “The board will now proceed with the merits of the permit to construct application.”
The action cleared a cloud away from a regulatory front of the complex plan to build in stages a jumbo LNG terminal near Halifax, forecast to cost US$5-10 billion for exports of up to 1.4 Bcf/d.
With offshore production depleted and onshore drilling ruled out by hydraulic fracturing bans in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec, Goldboro LNG continues to seek a gas supply and pipeline service from western Canada and the eastern United States. Construction finance is also still being sought, including a German government loan guarantee.