Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Pieridae ‘confident’ in upcoming sale of former LNG site

Prospective buyer is not MODG

  • April 3 2024
  • By Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter    

GOLDBORO — The Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) has no plans to buy back the 267-acre plot of land it sold to Pieridae Energy nine years ago to develop a $10 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Goldboro, Warden Vernon Pitts confirmed in an email to The Journal last week.

“The municipality has not been involved in any negotiations to purchase the property from Pieridae,” he stated on March 29, adding: “The municipality is always encouraged when developers and proponents have Goldboro and MODG as part of any discussions.”

Pitts was responding to news that the Calgary-based natural gas producer and processor was “confident in the probability of closing a successful sale transaction” within six months for the land it purchased from MODG for $3.2 million in 2015.

The land and associated assets, licence, and permits have been on the block since early November, when the company acknowledged its “strategic pivot away” from East Coast LNG and toward “Alberta-focused” natural gas production and processing.

“While we are unable to disclose more specific information at this time, we remain confident in the probability of closing a successful sale transaction in the first half of 2024,” Pieridae President and CEO Darcy Reding told an investor meeting following the release of the company’s fourth quarter and annual (2023) results on March 21.

In an email to The Journal last week, Pieridae spokesperson Sophie Schneider confirmed that, “While the company has advanced negotiations and is confident they will lead to a successful sale, that outcome remains uncertain, and we cannot disclose additional details.”

In his email, Pitts said that, “Any negotiations would be strictly confidential between Pieridae and the purchaser, we certainly wish Pieridae all the best on their path forward ... These discussions continue to place more and more emphasis on MODG as a key location in the ongoing and emerging green energy markets, both nationally and internationally.”

Pieridae shelved its plan to construct a natural gas liquefaction plant and export terminal in Goldboro – announced in 2012 – in 2021. 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.”

Stated Schneider in her email last week: “Pieridae will provide further material information on this matter [sale transaction] to stakeholders as appropriate.”