Local group asks German government not to grant loan guarantee for Goldboro LNG

Guysborough Communities Coalition opposes fracking

By Helen Murphy    

GUYSBOROUGH – A local group is signatory to a letter to the German government asking it not to grant a loan guarantee requested by Pieridae Energy, proponent of the $10 billion Goldboro LNG project.

The Guysborough Communities Coalition (GCC) first made headlines in April 2018, with its opposition to the Municipality of the District of Guysborough’s call for the province to end its ban on fracking.

Writing to Germany’s minister of environment and minister of economics on Aug. 27, the GCC joined with the N.S. Fracking Resource and Action Coalition (NOFRAC) in calling for Germany to not “award Pieridae Energy an Undertaking Financial Guarantee (UFK) of up to US$ 4 billion to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Goldboro.”

The letter states that the Goldboro LNG project would “increase Nova Scotia’s projected 2022 greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 per cent.” It also calls attention to what it says are risks to Germany in advancing the financial guarantee that Pieridae is seeking.

“Considering the depressed prices of Canadian natural gas producing assets, and the chronic structural oversupply of Western Canadian gas, this is transparently a risky financial proposition for Germany,” the letter states.

The letter highlighted the German government’s conditions for providing such financial guarantees, including compliance to “internationally accepted environmental and social standards.

“The oil and gas industry strongly opposed the fracking ban in Nova Scotia and our neighbouring provinces, and they have continued to pressure governments to lift the fracking bans,” the letter states. “These efforts increased this year because of the promise of a LNG facility in Goldboro. If Germany provides Pieridae with a UFK for the LNG facility in Goldboro, it will be providing the oil and gas industry a far greater incentive, and argument, to pressure our governments to lift the existing bans on fracking.”

In an email exchange with The Journal, Alexander Bridge of Boylston, a member of the GCC’s steering committee, said he feels Germany is applying a “double standard” with this kind of investment in other countries, because it bans fracking in its own country.

In Pieridae’s Aug. 24 news release about its acquisition of Alberta gas producer Ikkuma Resources, it said that the associated natural gas properties are to be “developed without the use of hydraulic fracturing.”

However, other sources of supply will be required to meet the project’s needs.

In response to the letter, Pieridae says it is aware of the German government’s financing guarantee conditions.

Bridge told The Journal the Guysborough Communities Coalition has 50-plus members.