Pieridae sees 'nation-building' potential of Goldboro LNG project

By Helen Murphy    

GUYSBOROUGH – In a post-election period characterized by deepening East-West divisions in Canada, Pieridae Energy Ltd. sees the Goldboro LNG project as one way of building bridges.

"We really see this as a nation-building project," said Pieridae's Director of External Relations James Millar during an interview Monday. "The West is benefiting, the East is benefitting -- as well as communities in between."

Following its acquisition of Shell Canada's gas-producing assets in the Alberta Foothills, Millar said Pieridae will probably start a new drilling program there at the end of next year, revitalizing a dormant industry in that area.

"That's exciting for Alberta as well because there hasn't been drilling in the Alberta Foothills for the past 10 or 20 years," he said. "We'll be creating jobs there as well."

In the East, Pieridae is expected to create 3500 jobs during construction at Goldboro, 200 full-time positions once operational, plus spinoffs.

Millar was speaking to The Journal about last week's meeting with Goldboro LNG's community liaison committee. On Tuesday, Oct. 22 in Goldboro, Pieridae officials updated committee members on the Shell deal and next steps for the project. The company is mandated to meet with the committee at least two times a year.

Committee members "were very interested to hear about the Shell asset acquisition that had just closed five days earlier," said Millar. The deal gives Pieridae the majority of the gas needed for the first train (facility) at Goldboro LNG.

"We (now) know will have the gas to fulfill that 20-year contract with an option for a 10-year extension (with German utility Uniper)."

One of the questions asked of the Pieridae reps was why gas is coming from Alberta for the project. Millar explained that the $4.5 billion loan guarantees from the German government to help develop Goldboro LNG require that the gas for the project be conventionally drilled, not fracked.

"Those assets (Shell) are all conventionally drilled," he said.

The Shell deal also gives Pieridae "some real, strong positive cashflow that allows us to move forward," said Millar.

Now that the Shell acquisition is done, the company is turning its attention back to its work with KBR -- an American engineering and construction company -- on the development of a fixed-price contract to design and ultimately build the Goldboro LNG facility.

Once that turn-key cost is known, which could take until the first or second quarter of 2020, "then we can finalize the overall financing for the first train of the project," said Millar.

When financing is in place, Pieridae will "be in a real position to announce a final investment decision.

"We did a lot of work over the summer on the actual financing for the facility itself," said Millar, adding that Pieridae is largely working with European firms on financing aspect.

The company hopes to deliver first gas in late 2024 or early 2025.

The committee was also told that the temporary road to the project site and the permanent detour are both at different stages in the approval process with the N.S. Dept. of Transportation.