HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – Nova Scotia has moved one step closer to having its own liquefied natural gas terminal.
The province’s Environment Department and the federal Fisheries Department gave the green light Monday to a proposal by Access Northeast Energy Inc.
The company wants to construct and operate a $415 million LNG plant at Bear Head, Nova Scotia, on the Strait of Canso, which would unload condensed natural gas arriving in supertankers, turn it back into a vapor and channel it into a pipeline for shipment south.
“This is really excellent news and a significant milestone,” said Kim West, a spokeswoman for Access.
The proposal examined by the environmental assessment includes a marine terminal, land-based storage tanks and a facility in which the liquefied gas would be converted.
Environment Minister Kerry Morash said the company must still submit plans to deal with storms, potential spills and wetlands protection.
“There were no surprises in today’s decision,” said West. “We had expected conditions to be attached. We will meet all of these requirements.”
The project still has a series of hurdles to cross.
Each of the company’s proposals to meet the environmental conditions that were spelled out Monday will have to be reviewed and approved.
But by far, the biggest obstacle to overcome will be attracting suppliers to the terminal.
However, West said with the environmental approvals out of the way, commercial negotiations can be made final.
Last week, environment officials in New Brunswick approved a plan to construct an LNG plant near Saint John, New Brunswick.
Various sites in Maine also have been proposed for LNG development. The latest project surfaced at the Passamaquoddy Tribe’s reservation at Pleasant Point near Eastport, where an Oklahoma-based energy group has proposed a $300 million project.