Supply challenges could be Goldboro LNG’s ‘Achilles heel’

Company has raised $50 million for next phase

By Helen Murphy    

GUYSBOROUGH – Pieridae Energy has raised $50 million in support of the next phase of its Goldboro LNG project. In an interview with The Journal Monday, company president and CEO Alfred Sorensen said the funds will pay for work to meet environmental conditions for the development, and to undertake the engineering work needed to determine a final project cost.

“Basically it allows us to get ready for the final investment decision,” he said. Sorensen said he hopes that investment decision can be made in six to eight months, in March or April of 2018.

When asked about how the cancellation of the planned Pacific NorthWest LNG project in B.C. could affect prospects for Goldboro LNG, Sorensen said the two projects are very different, and Pieridae’s German interests -- with a 20-year purchase agreement in place with a German utility -- are a significant competitive advantage.

“That’s what is pushing our project forward,” he said.

In terms of challenges ahead, he said supply remains a “big issue” for the project, and political barriers in Canada aren’t helping. In N.B. in particular, he noted that there are significant gas resources, but the province does not allow fracking.

“The premier who runs that province, for whatever reason, doesn’t have a problem with taking equalization payments but has a problem with fracking in New Brunswick,” said Sorensen.

“I’d say our Achilles heel right now...is still how we see supply developing.

“But we have some interesting things we’re working hard on and I think we’re going to be able to resolve that, I hope, by the end of the year.”

Sorensen is also concerned about the negative messages such political positions send to prospective investors in Goldboro LNG.

“We still have to raise somewhere between five and eight billion dollars.”

Pieridae is also pursuing gas supply in the U.S. for its planned project at Goldboro.