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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with reporters in Montreal on Aug. 22, 2022. Image: CPAC video capture

‘Business Case’ Needed For Exporting LNG To Europe: Trudeau

By Brad Perry Aug 23, 2022 | 1:22 PM

Canada’s prime minister faced questions about exporting natural gas to Europe as he met with the German chancellor in Montreal on Monday.

It comes as Germany and other European countries look to reduce their reliance on Russian gas amid ongoing uncertainty around energy supply.

Justin Trudeau said there are several potential projects in the works to export liquefied natural gas from the east coast to Europe, including one in Saint John, N.B.

However, Trudeau said one of the challenges around LNG is the number of investments needed to build the required infrastructure.

“There has never been a strong business case because of the distance from the gas fields, because of the need to transport that gas over long distances before liquefaction,” he told reporters.

“LNG conversion plants are usually placed close to the sources of LNG, and as we look at the possibility of LNG plants on the east coast able to ship directly to Germany, we find ourselves a long way from the gas fields in Western Canada.”

But Trudeau said it is “doable” and Canada is looking at how best it can help Germany and other European countries in the short term.

Talks are ongoing between federal ministers and various companies, he said, but there has to be a business case and it needs to make sense for Germany.

“We are looking right now, and companies are looking at whether or not the new context makes it a worthwhile business case to make those investments,” said Trudeau.

“From a government standpoint, easing the processes — because of the difficulty that Germany is facing — to make sure that we can move through regulatory hurdles more quickly is something we’re willing to do.”

Trudeau said while the need currently is to counter the energy crisis created by Russia, “the world needs to accelerate its ending of dependency on oil and gas in general” in the medium and long term.


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