Photo: Koji Sasahara the associated Press
The liquefied natural gas would be exported by tankers via the Saguenay and the St. Lawrence river.
The annual emissions of greenhouse gases related to the project of a liquefaction plant of natural gas Energy Saguenay will reach more than seven million tonnes. This is equivalent to undo in one year the bulk of emissions reductions in Québec since 1990. But since the vast majority of these emissions will be due to the exploitation of gas in alberta, which will be transported to the resort, the federal government and the government of Quebec does not take not into account in their decision on the project.
GNL Quebec has submitted on Wednesday to the media an outline of some of the elements that are part of the impact study that the company has just filed to the ministry of the Environment of Quebec, and the canadian environmental assessment Agency. These technical documents totalling not less than 5000 pages.
In the framework of the realization of its impact study, the company has commissioned a ” life cycle analysis “, and, “on a voluntary basis,” said the director of communications, Stephanie Fortin. LNG Québec has mandated the international Centre of reference on the life cycle of products, processes and services (CIRAIG) in order to assess all greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) related to the commissioning of its industrial complex for the liquefaction of natural gas in alberta.
According to what was explained-the analyst-Pierre-Olivier Roy, Polytechnique Montreal, during the presentation of LNG in Quebec, this modeling takes into account emissions related to gas exploration, to the exploitation of natural gas in Alberta (mostly through fracturing), its processing, its transportation and liquefaction of the future Power plant Saguenay.
Thus, taking into account all the GHG emissions of so-called ” upstream “, but also of those generated by the Power plant, Saguenay, Mr. Roy has clarified the Duty that the total annual emissions would reach ” 7000 kilotonnes equivalent CARBON “, representing more than seven million tonnes of GHG emissions. A document provided in the “appendix” to the study of impact figure for its share of the total emissions, including liquefaction, to more than 7.8 million tons, of which almost 3.4 million tonnes only for the” extraction ” of the gas.
In comparison, the controversial cement plant in Port-Daniel, in the Gaspé region, should generate a maximum of two million tons of GHG emissions per year. When you look at the most recent balance sheet of Québec’s overall GHG emissions, it also finds that the figure of seven million tons is equivalent to the quasi-totality of GHG emissions reductions in Québec for the period 1990 to 2016. During this period of 26 years, the emissions of the province increased from 86,46 million tonnes to 78,56 million tonnes, a reduction of 7.9 million tonnes.
Moreover, the analysis of the CIRAIG demonstrates that “90 % of greenhouse gas emissions in the life cycle” will be produced upstream of the project, essentially during the” extraction “and the” treatment ” of the gas, so in steps that justify the very existence of the industrial complex, Energy-Saguenay.
The rest of GHG or 10% of the total, will be produced by the plant and the marine terminal. In this case, LNG Quebec, however, has promised the ” carbon-neutrality “, that is to say that the company is committed to “offset” GHG emissions. The management said Wednesday that its plant will be “the complex of the cleanest in the world” for this type of industry. According to the analysis of the life cycle of the CIRAIG, the plant and the terminal will emit 33 % less GHG emissions than a similar complex that would be operated “in the gulf of Mexico,” said Mr. Roy.
Interestingly, the “direct emissions” produced on the industrial site in the Saguenay are the only ones that will be taken into account by the federal government in its decision to allow or not the export project of natural gas. All other emissions, including those attributable to the operating gas, are excluded from the definition of ” project “, as they “escape” the promoter, or LNG Quebec. As to the government of François Legault, he has already signified that it will not require evaluation of emissions from the production gas will be liquefied on the territory of québec, at a rate of 11 million tons per year.
In presenting his project on Wednesday, GNL Quebec has also argued that the gas will be exported to buyers in european and asian will “reduce” GHG global of 28 million tonnes per year.
Mr. Roy, CIRAIG, however, explained by the result of the Duty that it is not possible for the moment to confirm this assertion of the proponent ” independently “. “We can’t comment on that aspect “, he said, recalling that there remain “uncertainties” about the final use of this gas, but also on the possibilities that it replaces energy sources that are more polluting. According to him, it is nevertheless plausible that the project will reduce GHG emissions elsewhere in the world.
What is certain, is that the gas that will be transported by pipeline to Quebec, will be “very large majority” of the gas mined by hydraulic fracturing, said analyst Pierre-Olivier Roy. LNG Quebec does not officially control on the type of gas that will be sold, since all this gas came from the West is routed through the ” Canadian Mainline “, a conduct that is operated by TransCanada.