Photo: Associated Press
At least 160 tankers were going to sail each year on the St. Lawrence river and the Saguenay to export liquefied natural gas.
Several environmental groups in Quebec are calling on the government Legault to close the door to any financial assistance for the construction of the complex of transportation, liquefaction and export of natural gas LNG Quebec. They believe that this industrial project will compromise the fight against the climate crisis.
According to information published Tuesday by The Duty, the company Gazoduq request financial assistance from the Quebec government to build the pipeline of 780 km that will feed the liquefaction plant of LNG in Quebec.
Gazoduq account and 10 lobbyists whose mandate now includes efforts ” to obtain the financial support of the government in view of the realization of the project “. LNG Québec also has eight lobbyists registered with a mandate that includes the steps for “obtaining potential financial support” and “the obtaining of hydro-electric power” for the liquefaction plant and marine terminal.
After having argued in favour of the project several times in recent months, the government Legault shows open support for Gazoduq and LNG Quebec, in the context of the economic recovery to come. “With the support of other investors, the government could be open to participate in the financing of feasibility studies on the basis of the economic impact very important project for the communities involved and for all of Quebec “, stated the Duty of the office of the minister of Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon.
A call to say ” no “
In an output common public on Tuesday, environmental groups have however urged the government to close the door to any injection of public funds in the export project of natural gas in alberta.
“The LNG project Quebec has no place in an economic recovery plan that acts with wisdom, benevolence, and draws on the lessons of the current crisis. Science tells us that we must move from the gas, like oil, under penalty of dire consequences. We do not need this project. That our governments act in placing science at the heart of their decisions “, argued Tuesday Dominic Champagne, spokesman for the Pact for the transition.
“The project Gazoduq and LNG Quebec city would be viable without the support of the governments ? If this is not the case, why should taxpayers take arms-a project that will only exacerbate the climate crisis ? “added the spokesperson of Équiterre, Caroline Brouillette.
Alone, the gas pipeline project Gazoduq could cost more than $ 4.5 billion. The liquefaction plant and marine terminal LNG Quebec could cost nearly $ 10 billion. And even if they are presented as two distinct entities studied by two separate environmental assessments, the two projects are controlled by the same shareholder, the partnership’s LNG Quebec, itself controlled by the financial interests of americans.
However, this massive industrial project has to deal in the past few months with the withdrawal of a large investor, the fund Berkshire Hathaway, owned by the american billionaire Warren Buffett. The latter must invest not less than four billion dollars in the project.
Gas against the weather ?
“Financing of LNG would be inconsistent with the major financiers, who are more many to turn their backs on hydrocarbons and to require that recovery plans allow the creation of green jobs by combating climate change “, also underlined by the spokesperson of Greenpeace, Patrick Bonin.
Same sound of bell on the side of the David Suzuki Foundation, who believes that” public funds being invested in LNG Quebec, it is risking the money of Quebecers to erase their efforts to fight climate change “.
LNG Quebec and Gazoduq consider, instead, that the project is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere in the world, since the liquefied natural gas exported would be used to replace coal in Europe and Asia. For the moment, it is not possible to verify this assertion, since no buyer is not currently known.
We know, however, that the project is expected to generate 8.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, according to a notice produced by experts of the ministry of the Environment of Quebec. These emissions will be produced during the exploitation of gas (mainly fracturing), its treatment and its transport.
Finally, ecologists have reiterated on Tuesday that the financial interests which control the LNG project Quebec are installed in jurisdictions considered as tax havens or territories that allow the optimization and the” tax evasion ” : the us State of Delaware, Hong Kong, Bermuda, the british Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands.
The main environmental issues of the LNG project Quebec
Greenhouse gas emissions : the emissions related to the project will be mostly produced in Alberta, but also during the transportation of natural gas. According to the estimates of experts of the governments of Québec and Canada, it is expected to reach nearly eight million tons per year. The emissions produced by the project in québec should rise to around 500 000 tonnes each year. LNG Quebec, however, has made the commitment to offset these emissions.
Marine Transport : liquefied natural gas will be exported aboard ships, the tankers that will travel through the single marine park in Quebec, or the Saguenay–Saint-Laurent. According to the forecasts of the promoter, the project will involve at least 320 each year for vessels up to 300 meters in length and 50 meters in width. This component raises questions about the protection of marine mammals in the St. Lawrence river, the beluga whale.
The project pipeline of the company Gazoduq : the gas pipeline that will feed the LNG plant, Quebec is not evaluated at the same time as the factory. The government Legault and the Trudeau government announced on Friday, may 15 that a single environmental assessment joint will be carried out for this project. The decision to authorise the construction belongs only to the federal government, since it is a gas pipeline, interprovincial.