Pieridae Energy proposes $5 billion East Coast LNG facility
Proposal attracts interest from European, Indian utilities
The energy trader who co-founded Galveston LNG Inc. and later sold the Kitimat LNG scheme to Apache Canada and EOG Resources for roughly $300 million is back with a new plan to export natural gas from Canada’s east coast.
Alfred Sorensen said today that his new company, Pieridae Energy Canada, plans to build an export terminal at Goldboro, Nova Scotia.
The proposed $5-billion Goldboro LNG facility would occupy a site 200 kilometers east of Halifax where Maple LNG once proposed, then abandoned, an import facility. Plans call for construction of a facility big enough to pump out 5 million tonnes of LNG per year beginning in 2018 with storage capacity for 420,000 cubic meters, Pieridae said in a statement today.
“We’ve managed to get to the point where we have enough interest now from off-takers” to move forward, Sorensen, who is also the chief executive officer of Canadian Spirit Resources Inc., said in a telephone interview from Halifax, citing utilities in Europe and “a couple” in India as potential partners in the scheme.
The plan, which Sorensen said will be submitted for environmental review in the first quarter of 2013, hinges on reversing the flow on the Spectra Energy-owned Maritimes & Northeast pipeline, which was built in the late 1990s to deliver production from offshore gas fields in Nova Scotia to New England and Atlantic Canada.
Sorensen, who is Pieridae’s president, said a reversed Maritimes pipeline could deliver up to 700 million cubic feet of gas per day to the terminal for export. Much of that is likely to come initially from the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania, Sorensen said.
Pieridae says it is negotiating with Contact Exploration Inc. for additional volumes of gas. The Calgary-based outfit is sitting on a prospective resource in New Brunswick of between 7 and 15 trillion cubic feet of gas, Steve Harding, its president and CEO, said in an interview.
“If that isn’t enough, or doesn’t suffice, there’s always the Marcellus or other gas from the northeast U.S. that can become a key feedstock component to their terminal,” he said.
Five export facilities are currently proposed for Canada’s West Coast. Just two have received export licenses from federal regulators. Joe Oliver, Canada’s minister of natural resources, has said the projects could supply Pacific markets with up to 9 billion cubic feet of fresh supplies daily.
Harding said Canada’s east coast makes sense for exports because of its proximity to markets. “There’s a lot of interest in Europe, there’s a lot of interest in both South America as well as in India, and this is a very well positioned location for that,” he said.
“Plus you’ve got this gas bubble in the northeast U.S. building with the Marcellus and potentially with New Brunswick gas. You’ve got the ability to tap into very large resources that are close by.”