GOLDBORO: The Calgary-based company looking to construct a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Guysborough County is one step closer to making it a reality following a merger with an Alberta-based natural gas producer.

Pieridae Energy Ltd.’s merger with Ikkuma Resources Corp. on August 24, is a key step to a final investment decision on its proposed $10-billion Goldboro LNG project.

Mark Brown, Pieridae’s vice-president of business development, said the Ikkuma deal represents a source of gas supply that would provide the feedstock needs of the Goldboro LNG export facility.

“One of the things that’s been extremely important to the success of our project, or any project in this nature, is securing a source of gas supply. That’s what this has done,” he said. “We now have gas supply that will satisfy most of our requirements to meet our obligations under the 20-year binding contract with Uniper.”

Pieridae is still waiting on the Nova Scotia Government to issue a construction permit, which they expected to receive by the end of August.

Once Pieridae has obtained their permit, and contractor agreements are in place, they plan to begin construction by the end of the year on the terminal, where natural gas from southern Alberta would be chilled until it reaches its liquid state before being exported.

“Now, we’ll be looking to finalize some transportation agreements so we can move the gas to Goldboro,” Brown said. “Those existing networks are already in place, the Maritimes and the North East systems are interconnected with other pipelines, and ultimately you can go back to Western Canada.”

When the natural gas arrives to Goldboro, it will be housed in a liquefaction facility. Through compression the temperature of the gas will change to -160 degrees Celsius, which turns it to a liquid form. It will then move from storage tanks to a jetty, a structure that projects from the land out into water, and then onto a LNG carrier ship that will then move it onto Europe.

In total, the project would export 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the East Coast to European countries interested to expand their gas supply from Russia.

No new pipeline will be constructed, but Brown noted there are still billions of dollars worth of financing that need to be undertaken.

In a letter sent to German Environment and Economy Ministers on August 21, a coalition of Canadian and German groups asked Germany to withdraw from the loan guarantee process which would provide more than $4-billion US to the Goldboro project.

The financing would be granted in return for a commitment that would guarantee Germany a portion of the exported LNG. German Uniper S.E. has already made a 20-year commitment to buy at least 50 per cent of the total capacity for the terminal.

After a decade of hard-fought decreases in emissions, Ken Summers of the Nova Scotia Fracking Resource and Action Coalition, said if the Goldboro LNG project were built, it would increase the province’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 per cent.

“Neither Germany nor the electric utility Uniper buying the LNG would use the gas to retire coal fired electricity production,” he said. “Even if that changed in the future, the small decrease in green house gases emitted by Germany would not compensate the significant emission increase from Canadian gas fields and from the giant LNG compressors in Nova Scotia.”

Pieridae is well aware of the type of restrictions the German government have put on this type of financing, Brown said.

“What these uninformed groups have to say, really is not a concern to us. We’re certainly not going to be in violation of any of those terms.”