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Canadian LNG Export Terminal Gets Environmental Approval

Pieridae Energy's plans for a facility at Goldboro, Nova Scotia (NS), that would export liquefied natural gas (LNG), including liquefied shale natural gas production from the eastern United States, have been approved by Randy Delorey, Nova Scotia minister of environment, the Halifax, NS-based company said Friday.

The favorable environmental assessment (EA) for the Goldboro LNG facility was unveiled in a letter sent by Delorey to Pieridae following his acceptance of recommendations made by a review panel.

"Following review of the information provided by Pieridae Energy (Canada) Ltd., and from the comments received from agencies and persons that participated in this environmental assessment review, including recommendations from the Environmental Assessment Review Panel, I have approved the above project with conditions in accordance with Section 40 of the Environment Act...," Delorey wrote.

Conditions of the EA approval include development of management plans related to air emissions, greenhouse gas and wetlands, establishment of a fisheries advisory committee, continued operation of a community liaison committee, and carrying out of additional studies, reports, monitoring and plans that were identified in the EA report and information request responses.

"With EA approval, we will now focus on Front End Engineering and Design," said Mark Brown, director of project development, Pieridae. "Throughout spring and summer 2014, we will be on-site in Goldboro, NS, to carry out a number of studies that will assist with understanding project specific requirements."

The approval comes more than four months after plans for Goldboro LNG were presented to the National Energy Board (see Daily GPI,Nov. 8, 2013). The plans call for U.S. gas to fill up to 1 Bcf/d, or 70%, of Goldboro LNG's proposed capacity of 1.4 Bcf/d. Reversing flows on Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline (MNP) -- to convert the 1,101-kilometer (661-mile) gas highway across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and New England into a northbound U.S. export route -- was described as an essential part of the package.

Growing eastern U.S. supplies from the Marcellus and Utica shales would support the change, according to the trade license application for exports of both Canadian production and imported U.S. output. Goldboro is seeking a 20-year permit to ship a total of 7.3 Tcf of gas as LNG via a new terminal projected to cost about C$5 billion to build at the northern end of MNP on the Nova Scotia coast near the provincial capital of Halifax.

Goldboro LNG will produce up to 10 million metric tonnes per annum of LNG per year and will have on-site storage capacity of 690,000 cubic metres of LNG, Pieridae said.

The total volume of proposed Canadian exports of LNG is 189.4 Tcf, or 20.4 Bcf/d, from a dozen proposed projects (see Daily GPI, Jan. 3). But alone among Canadian LNG export projects, Goldboro has reported landing a sale for more than half of its proposed capacity. The Nova Scotia project has announced a 20-year agreement to supply 750 MMcf/d to E.ON Global Commodities SE, trading arm of a German gas and power conglomerate (see Daily GPI, June 4, 2013). And Pieridae says it is in advanced discussions with several natural gas producers, pipeline operators and LNG customers.

Pieridae is awaiting approvals of import and export licenses by the National Energy Board (NEB). The company will make its final investment decision next year and. If it decides to proceed, the LNG facility would be operational in 2020.

Also before the National Energy Board (NEB), a French rival of E.ON reportedly came up with a tentative, preliminary expression of interest in developing either yet another entry in the LNG terminal project lineup on the Pacific Coast of British Columbia or in becoming a customer.

A representative of GDF Suez Energy UK, a British arm of a partially government-owned French global energy conglomerate, filed a routine request for participant status in NEB hearings on a BC pipeline proposal by TransCanada Corp.'s Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. Participant status provides full, immediate delivery of information provided to the NEB in a pipeline case. The Nova application, for a C$1.7 billion addition to its BC and Alberta grid titled the North Montney Project, includes extensive geoscience material on regional shale deposits and production potential.

GDF only indicated a general interest in adding BC to its international supply and marketing network and made no further comment, but the application set off speculation about addition of an 11th project to the 10-entry lineup on the northern Pacific Coast.

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