The company behind the Goldboro LNG plant project threatens environmentalists with legal action


Pieridae Energy CEO Alfred Sorensen and Natural Resources Canada Minister Seamus O’Regan

Pieridae Energy, the Alberta company seeking $ 925 million from the Canadian government to revive its liquefied natural gas (LNG) project at Goldboro on the east coast of Nova Scotia, is threatening legal action against five signatories of the ‘an open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau, Prime Minister Iain Rankin and a long list of ministers and elected officials from the federal and provincial governments, who have asked that they not provide any funding for the plant.

In a March 19 letter to the five signatories, Pieridae’s attorney general, Thomas Ciz, writes that they “are receiving confidential information, including a PowerPoint presentation” and that this was “not permitted”.

See the PowerPoint presentation here.

Further, according to Ciz, they used and disclosed the information to “other persons (including news posts) for the express purpose of harming Pieridae’s business prospects of developing and building the LNG facility of Goldboro ”.

The Power Point in question is a leaked document that Pieridae presented to federal officials in December 2020, in which he requested $ 925 million from the Canadian government in the form of a grant, repayable contribution or loan guarantee to help it achieve. secure Alberta pipelines at the proposed Nova Scotia plant site.

Ciz writes that on August 6, 2020, a “multi-party nondisclosure agreement” was “executed by Pieridae Energy Limited and the governments of Canada, Alberta and Nova Scotia”. Such an agreement “imposes on the recipients of any confidential information of Pieridae the obligation to treat this information as confidential and not to disclose the confidential information to a third party without the prior written consent of Pieridae”.

The letter to the signatories continues:

You and the organizations you represent and others have unlawfully used and disclosed this confidential information knowing, or reasonably should have known, were protected from unauthorized use and disclosure by unauthorized persons, and that you did so in the express purpose of causing economic damage to Pieridae.

Ciz writes:

I have been instructed by Pieridae to bring your illegal actions to your attention and to demand that:

1. you immediately cease and refrain from disclosing Pieridae’s confidential information to any person;

2. you immediately cease and cease using Pieridae’s confidential information for any purpose; and immediately inform me as legal counsel to Pieridae of (a) the identity of each person from whom you have received confidential information and the circumstances under which you have received such information, and (b) the identity of each person to whom you have disclosed Confidential Information and the circumstances under which you have disclosed that information; and

4.You immediately take steps to mitigate the damage you have already caused and continue to be caused to Pieridae, including by withdrawing the Communication and you immediately notify me as legal counsel to Pieridae of your efforts to mitigation.

Pieridae’s lawyer gives the signatories of the letter until 5 p.m. Calgary time on March 23, 2021 to respond to these “requests”, saying:

Pieridae is taking legal advice and will initiate proceedings to remedy your illegal actions to the full extent of Pieridae’s rights under the law, including seeking an injunction and full restitution from each of you personally and organizations your [sic] represent for all damages caused by your actions.

“Rule yourself accordingly,” Ciz writes at the end of the letter.

Germany’s reaction

One of those who received the letter from Pieridae’s legal adviser is Andy Gheorghiu, an “activist and consultant for climate / environmental protection, energy policy and further development of democratic processes” in Germany.

In an email to the Halifax Examiner, Gheorghiu wrote that he only supported the letter to Canadian government officials “out of solidarity” and that he could not comply with Pieridae’s demands because he “could not not delete links, articles, downloads, etc.

Gheorghiu emailed this statement in response to the letter:

I am a German citizen and, along with many groups on both sides of the Atlantic, I oppose the Goldboro LNG project, a failed and climate hostile asset.

As an activist and activist, I co-signed (in solidarity and support) the open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and Prime Minister Iain Rankin. This was just another open letter we sent to officials to highlight the negative impacts of this project and the high financial risk for state officials and ministries who were approached by Pieridae to co-finance this zombie from 8 years. project because it cannot take off without public funding (see for example

The Canadian company also wants to obtain a loan guarantee from the German government that it has not yet received – despite somewhat different communications on this subject in the Canadian press (see for example / Redaktion / DE / Parlamentarische-Anfragen / 2019 / 10-260-262.pdf? __ blob = publicationFile & v = 2).

Now I have (along with the other signatories) received a threat letter regarding Nova Scotia’s proposed funding for the Goldboro LNG plant (see attachment). It’s outrageous and shows how desperate the company must be in its attempt to silence climate activists and the truth about a blocked climate hostile asset project.

I will also inform the German Ministry of the Economy, which has yet to decide on the loan guarantee. I don’t want my taxpayer’s money to be wasted on the Goldboro LNG project and I don’t think any private company has the right to stop me from raising these issues. We live in the 21st and not the 19th or 20th century and global warming is increasing hour by hour because of projects like Goldboro. These companies owe us compensation for the damage they have already caused to the climate and we certainly won’t let them do more harm. The fossil fuel industry and their addicted supporters need to realize this reality!

Applying for funding isn’t really a big secret

The funding request for the proposed Goldboro LNG plant comes as no surprise to those who have followed the story.

Last October, in the first part of his two-part series on the LNG project, “The Goldboro Gamble”, the Examiner reported that the potential loan guarantees from the German government for the project worth 4, $ 5 billion was just that – potential – and the letter of intent for loan guarantees as “non-legally binding”.

This October article also noted that:

At the end of May [2020], the examiner asked [Pieridae CEO Alfred] Sorensen on an April conference call by the company in which he mentioned Pieridae was lobbying the federal government and Nova Scotia in hopes of securing $ 1 billion in financial aid of dollars, “a helping hand, not a helping hand,” and if he was optimistic it would be ahead.

“I have no further comment on this at the moment,” he said.

However, Sorensen said he was confident they could “make the final investment decision provided market conditions improve. [sic] allow the realization of the financing ”, adding:“ We are continuing to invest in the project and with the cooperation of our partners in the project, we expect to be operational by the first quarter of 2025. ”

Most recently, the Halifax Examiner reported on leaked documents and Pieridae’s search for federal funding here, and her lobbying blitz in Ottawa here.

The CBC’s Frances Willick also reported on the company’s plug-in and demand for federal funding here and here.

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