Canada is not the solution at this time to replace Russia's supply of gas: Pieridae CEO
While the federal government is touting Canada as a reliable source of energy for Europe, the head of Pieridae Energy Ltd., which has been trying to get a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal off the ground for several years, said helping Europe is not as easy as it seems.
“I think that there's no doubt there is a renewed interest for Canada to play a role and we're not going to be the solution,” Alfred Sorensen, the chief executive officer of Pieridae, said in an interview Friday.
“When I got a phone call from federal government a few months ago, and they said can we do anything to help, I said you should’ve called five years ago.”
The Canadian government have pledged to help feed energy to European countries as Russia chokes off its supplies to the region, but Canada is still lacking the infrastructure to get its resources overseas.
Pieridae’s Goldboro LNG project in Nova Scotia is essentially construction ready, Sorensen said, but there are a number of external issues standing in the way before a final investment decision is made.
The proposed project has gone through a number of revisions through the years due to delays and changes in the regulatory and economic environment. The current plan is for a scaled-down offshore floating facility that is expected to process 2.5 million metric tonnes of natural gas annually at an estimated construction cost of roughly $2 billion.
From the time the company would begin building the facility, Sorensen said it could take a minimum of four years until it’s completed.
In the past, Pieridae said it planned to use existing pipeline systems, including TC Energy Corp.’s Mainline system, to move natural gas from Western Canada to its facility. However, pipeline capacity has become more constrained in recent years – an impediment that’s preventing necessary funding for the project from being lined up.
“I don't think there will be any financing unless the pipeline issue is resolved first,” Sorensen said.
Sorensen said he hopes the government can step in and help Pieridae find a solution for the transport constraints.
“I do think that the government has to play a role in how they resolve some of the issues around pipeline construction; and, for that to occur, they have to take the lead on that,” he said.
“Since the beginning of the year, when obviously the crisis in Eastern Europe began, and got worse, the interest to invest in the project has changed significantly. And given comparison to a year ago, we think that if we really work hard with government and with TC Energy, a pipeline solution is achievable.”