Canada Quebec rejects $14-billion natural gas project in Saguenay over environmental issues

07:28  22 july  2021
07:28  22 july  2021 Source:   msn.com

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Énergie Saguenay , a proposed $ 14 - billion pipeline and LNG terminal, is the largest private investment project in recent Quebec history. Its promoters say it would be among the cleanest LNG plants in the world. Can it truly cut greenhouse gas emissions? The wrenching debate over fossil fuels and climate change is lapping up against the shores of the magnificent Saguenay Fjord in the heart of Quebec . Here, just upstream from the Saguenay -St. Lawrence Marine Park — a protected area for the endangered beluga whale — two major, intertwined projects are in the planning and evaluation stages.

The GNL Québec mega- project , which is supported by the Legault government, would see natural gas from western Canada moved by pipeline to Saguenay where it would then be liquefied and sent overseas by ship via the Saguenay fjord. Article content. The BAPE questioned the project ’s argument that there would be a net reduction in greenhouse gases because natural gas would substitute more polluting energy sources overseas. It said the extraction and liquefaction of gas in Saguenay would generate about 7.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, wiping out in a single

MONTREAL — A $14-billion project that would have seen natural gas from Western Canada exported to Europe and Asia through Quebec has been rejected by the Quebec government.

Benoit Charette wearing a suit and tie © Provided by The Canadian Press

Environment Minister Benoit Charette told reporters in Saguenay — the region where a natural gas plant would have been built — that the provincial government is not convinced the project would lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

"The promoter has not succeeded in demonstrating this, on the contrary," he said, adding that the government is worried it would discourage natural gas buyers in Europe and Asia from moving to cleaner energy sources.

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" Natural gas is a transition energy," Legault said Monday in the National Assembly, responding to a question from the opposition. Legault has also pointed to the natural gas project while attempting to diminish western Canadians' anger at his refusal to consider the construction of a cross-Canada oil One is a proposed 750-kilometre extension to Saguenay of a natural gas pipeline that already connects Alberta to northern Ontario. That segment would be built by Gazoduc Inc. The second is the construction of a refinery and port facility in Saguenay , about 200 kilometres north of Quebec City, to

Énergie Saguenay , a proposed $ 14 - billion pipeline and LNG terminal, is the largest private investment project in recent Quebec history. But do Saguenéens want it? CBC Quebec travelled through the region to find out what's at stake. The Green Party is the only party in the federal election campaign openly condemning a $ 14 - billion natural gas liquefaction project in Quebec . The Énergie Saguenay project would involve the construction of a pipeline across a 782-kilometre stretch of the province — from northern Ontario to Saguenay — and the building of a liquid natural gas (LNG) plant, as well as

"This is a project that has more disadvantages than advantages," Charette said.

GNL Québec had proposed building a plant in Port Saguenay, Que., about 220 kilometres north of Quebec City, to liquefy natural gas from Western Canada. The project would have also required the construction of a 780-kilometre pipeline to connect the plant to existing natural gas pipelines in Ontario.

The project had initially been greeted positively by the Coalition Avenir Québec government. Charette said he was predisposed to support the project, but in the end it didn't meet the required environmental conditions.

The company said it was disappointed and surprised by the decision.

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GNL Québec has said transforming the gas to liquid with hydroelectricity would make the project clean — but many environmental groups have been critical of those claims. In June 2019, more than 150 scientists published an open letter seeking to debunk claims by promoters that the project will Concerns have also been raised about the impact on endangered beluga whales in the St. Lawrence Estuary because of noise pollution and increased tanker traffic in the Saguenay River. Quebec 's environmental review agency, the BAPE, will begin public hearings on the project later this month in

The GNL Québec project would involve the construction of a 750 km gas pipeline (by Gazoduq), a gas liquefaction plant (by Énergie Saguenay ) and a super-methane ship export terminal. Species at risk living in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, such as beluga whales, an endangered species whose population is in decline, would be threatened by the increase in shipping generated by the project . The methane tankers would pass through the Saguenay -St. Lawrence protected area (a Category II marine protected area in Quebec ) as well as the Saguenay Fjord National Park.

"Our board of directors will evaluate the next steps to deal with this difficult decision that will have an impact on our employees, our investors and our stakeholders," GNL spokesman Louis-Martin Leclerc said in an emailed statement Wednesday.

GNL had said the plant would be carbon neutral and would encourage an overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, because natural gas would replace dirtier fuels such as coal and oil. Quebec's environmental review board, however, concluded in March the estimated reductions were unlikely to occur.

A coalition of environmental groups, including Équiterre, the David Suzuki Foundation and Greenpeace, said the decision was a victory for activists who had opposed the project.

"The Quebec government's announcement of the rejection of the GNL Québec project demonstrates that there is no future for fossil fuel projects," the groups said in a statement. Several Indigenous communities had also opposed the project.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 21, 2021.


This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press

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