GOLDBORO — Calgary-based Pieridae Energy Limited is out of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) business in Nova Scotia and is looking for a suitor to buy its Goldboro subsidiary, the company told investors last week.
“Pieridae has initiated a process to sell its assets, licenses and permits (‘Goldboro’), highlighted by 267 acres of undeveloped coastal industrial land in Nova Scotia,” according to its third-quarter financial update on Nov. 8. “Once complete, [this] will mark the conclusion of [our] strategic pivot away from east coast LNG and toward an Alberta-focused natural gas production and processing business.”
In an email to The Journal on Nov. 13, Pieridae Communications Specialist Sophie Schneider said, “The company has continued to sharpen its focus on its Western Canadian upstream business and midstream development opportunities. To that end, the suspension of the Goldboro East Coast LNG export project was announced back in July of 2021. It will not be a part of Pieridae’s future and expressing the intent to sell the Goldboro subsidiary is a continuation of our strategy.”
News about the company’s withdrawal from its Goldboro liquefied natural gas processing and export terminal project came as no surprise to Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) Warden Vernon Pitts.
“Council was disappointed that the proposed LNG project for the Goldboro area did not cross the finish line to development,” he told The Journal in an email. “[We have] been aware that energy development projects have been swinging away from the LNG and fossil fuel sector. Future world needs have been dictating that these must be addressed by green energy.”
When Pieridae shelved its plan to construct a $10 billion natural gas liquefaction plant and export terminal in Goldboro – announced in 2012 – a year ago, it indicated that it didn’t have the “commitment” necessary from “various parties” to proceed. In an interview with The Journal at the time, then-CEO Alfred Sorenson explained that a 26 per cent jump in the cost of building the project as well as “time constraints due to COVID-19” had made “the current version of the LNG project impractical.” As a “relatively small company,” he said, it was “very difficult to try to raise money on our own.”
Regarding the property, which the municipality sold to Pieridae for $3.2 million in 2015, Pitts said, “[MODG council is] optimistic that [it] will eventually be developed for some future type of industry. [It] has marine access, transmission corridor, industrial zoning in place and, most importantly, there’s its location. Council has a realization that most developments do not take place overnight, with significant projects taking considerable time for numerous reasons. The glass is still half full.”
According to Schneider, “We want to express our gratitude for the support of the local community over the life of this project. It was exciting work and, though we are now going in different directions, it speaks to the tenacity and innovation of the Guysborough community. While we will not be a part of it, we believe the Goldboro site has a great future as an employer and contributor to the economy of Nova Scotia.”
She added: “There is no set timeline for a sale at the moment, although we are confident a transaction can close in the first half of 2024.”