Canadian group plans East Coast LNG export plant
CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Pieridae Energy Canada said on Wednesday it aims to build a C$5 billion ($5 billion) liquefied natural gas export terminal in Nova Scotia, a first for Eastern Canada, with the aim of exporting the fuel to Europe and India.
The proposed facility would have a capacity of 700 million cubic feet a day and be in service in late 2018, said the privately held company which was founded by its current president, Alfred Sorensen. Sorensen sold his last major LNG plan - on the Pacific Coast - to independent energy companies in 2010.
The site on the southeast coast of Nova Scotia is adjacent to the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, which carries gas to Atlantic Canada and the northeastern United States from the Sable offshore gas project operated by Exxon Mobil Corp.
Gas from Encana Corp's Deep Panuke natural gas project, which is expected to start up later this year, will also come ashore at the site in the community of Goldboro.
Under current plans, Pieridae plans to start its environmental assessment process before the end of this year with expectations that it would be completed in 2013. An investment decision would be made in 2014, it said.
In a statement, Sorensen said his group had the experience, financial resources and access to supply needed to move such a development forward.
Sorensen founded Galveston LNG, a company that planned an export terminal at Kitimat, British Columbia, in the early days of what is now a rush of plans to build such facilities on the West Coast. It sold out to Apache Corp and EOG Resources, and Encana later signed on as a partner. The project has yet to get a final go-ahead from the partners.
Pieridae said it was in talks with Contact Exploration Inc, a small producer that operates an oil and gas field in New Brunswick, with the aim of having Contact participate in the project and manage the operations. An agreement is expected to be signed in the next month.
The project would create 1,500 jobs during construction and 100 full-time positions, Pieridae said, and has won plaudits from Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter.
"A Goldboro LNG export terminal will greatly contribute to our world-class oil and gas sector and position Nova Scotia as a strategic energy exporter," Dexter said in a statement. ($1=$0.99 Canadian)
(Reporting by Jeffrey Jones; editing by Jim Marshall)
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