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Nova Scotia’s utility and review board approves new Goldboro natural gas facility

Water pipes lead to the cooling system of a Natural gas energy generator in Maxwell, Calif. Nov. 15, 2011.
Water pipes lead to the cooling system of a Natural gas energy generator in Maxwell, Calif. Nov. 15, 2011. The Canadian Press/AP, Rich Pedroncelli

Nova Scotia’s utility and review board has given the green light for Pieridae Energy Ltd. to begin construction of its natural gas facility in Goldboro, N.S.

The facility, projected to cost between $7 billion and $10 billion, will reportedly produce 10 million tonnes of super-cooled liquefied natural gas per year to ship mainly to European customers.

It would be one of the country’s first natural gas export facilities.

In a decision released on Wednesday, the utility and review board (UARB) says that they will issue the permit to construct the facility, contingent on a set of conditions that includes providing updates on planning and construction schedules.

READ MORE: Goldboro LNG proponent reaches deal to merge with Calgary-based gas producer Pieridae Energy CEO

As part of the permit, Pieridae will be committed to hiring Nova Scotians for positions during the the construction.

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The project could mean up to 3,500 construction jobs during that phase, and then about 200 full-time jobs once the facility is up and running.

In a statement on their website, Pieridae welcomed the UARB’s decision.

The company says they’ve hired a company to act as its engineering advisor in anticipation of construction, once a final financial assessment on the project by investors is completed and improved.

Pieridae says they also remain committed to engaging with the Mi’kmaq First Nations who have an interest in the project.

“It is appropriate to formally recognize the close cultural and historical relationship between the Mi’kmaq people in Nova Scotia and their traditional territory and the resources of the province while acknowledging that the Mi’kmaq have not historically ceded lands or resources through treaty or other formal agreement” Alfred Sorensen, the company’s CEO is quoted as saying in the release.

READ MORE: Peter Watts: Liquefied natural gas project could mean East Coast gold rush

The UARB cited a large base of public support for the project, with the regulator saying that the majority of the 197 letters they received from the public were positive in nature.

Seven letters raised concerns, including green house gas emissions, plant safeguards, noise levels and pollution.

The UARB said many of the issues raised by the public were not within their mandate and that the issues would be addressed during the design and construction phase of the project.

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The UARB says their role in the project is not done and that they, along with a certifying authority, will continue to monitor the design and construction of the project.

Pieridae will be required to file an application for a licence to operate the facility before it can become operational.