What was the LNG project?
Énergie Saguenay wanted to obtain authorization to build a natural gas processing facility that “would liquefy natural gas in order to export it to world markets”, according to its website. In addition to the installation, the idea was to build a LNG pipeline that would cross into northern Ontario.
The the company said the objective of the project is to “support efforts to combat climate change in Europe, Asia and elsewhere in the world, by providing transitional energy that will replace other more polluting energies, such as coal and fuel oil” .
The Premier of Quebec, François Legault, was would have support for the project, but was met with reluctance from environmental and indigenous groups.
In September 2020, the Office of Public Hearings on the Environment (BAPE) began a public hearing as part of its systematic review of the project in consultation with the Innu communities of Mashteuiatsh and Essipit.
Why did Quebec cancel the project?
On July 21, the MELCC announced that the Quebec government had decided not to authorize the project.
He cited the results of the BAPE’s environmental impact report, which concluded that the Saguenay LNG project “could have the long-term consequence of slowing down the energy transition of the project’s client countries”.
In addition, the government established that there was no way for the project to “count on a net reduction of [greenhouse gas] on a global scale, the project leader cannot guarantee the use of liquefied natural gas as an alternative to sources that emit more GHGs, such as coal and fuel oil.
The project’s own GHG reduction measures were also found to be insufficient to offset its own emissions.
“We had to face the fact that the risks of the Énergie Saguenay project outweighed its benefits,” said Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change for Quebec.
“However, we are optimistic that the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region will quickly have the opportunity to enrich itself with other economic projects, such as the Élysis green aluminum project, which will create jobs while actively participating in the fight across Quebec. against climate change. “