Pieridae Energy, the Canadian exploration and production company and developer of the Goldboro LNG export project in Nova Scotia with German-backed funding and sales accords, has signed a benefits agreement with First Nation people in the Atlantic coast province.
Pieridae said the agreement was negotiated with the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs and has now been ratified.
Energy projects such as pipelines and industrial or energy plants are obliged under Canadian laws to recognise the land rights of Aboriginals in Canada who have spent decades establishing treaty commitments and seeking implementation of their rights.
“This benefits agreement establishes the framework under which the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia will benefit economically from the development, construction and operation of the Goldboro LNG Project,” said Pieridae.
The Calgary-based company, headed by Chief Executive Alfred Sorensen, is on the venture list of the Toronto Stock Exchange for small commodities companies.
Pieridae said a memorandum of understanding signed in 2013 originally outlined the relationship between Pieridae and the Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia and the deal “underscores Pieridae’s commitment to ongoing engagement and relationship building” with the First Nations communities in Nova Scotia.
The Goldboro LNG project has been given the final go-ahead by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board after previously receiving its environmental approvals.
The final investment decision for the LNG venture is now expected by June 2019.
German utility Uniper is one of the Goldboro project’s customers and Pieridae has also received confirmation of eligibility in principle for up to US$1.5 billion of untied loan guarantees from the German federal government.
Pieridae proposes to produce 10 million tonnes per annum of LNG at the planned Nova Scotia plant.
The company has additionally signed a 20-year supply agreement with Uniper for 5 MTPA of its production and has embarked on a strategy of securing feed-gas resources for liquefaction.
In anticipation of the start of the design and construction process, Pieridae engaged Canadian consultants Hatch Ltd to act as its engineering adviser and the First Nations agreement was one of the last major issues outstanding.
“Nova Scotia is unceded Mi’kmaq territory and the management of our lands and resources is a priority for our Nation,” said Chief Terrance Paul, Co-Chair for the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs.
“As we look to ensure responsible development and environmental stewardship that reflect a Mi’kmaq voice, it’s important that we can bridge that gap with industry,” said the Chief.
“This agreement with Pieridae is an example of how companies can respect our Mi’kmaw Rights and Title, and also provide an opportunity for Mi’kmaq participation in development on our lands,” he added.