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What they are looking for is a pretty significant equity interest in this project. Given our diminished fiscal capacity, that’s not a likelihood for us
Newfoundland and Labrador finances, Industry, Energy and Technology Minister Andrew Parsons
The government of Newfoundland and Labrador has previously taken interests in offshore oil projects through Nalcor, a Crown corporation.
But the province is not in a position to directly invest in the project after the coronavirus pandemic “battered” oil prices and its finances, Industry, Energy and Technology Minister Andrew Parsons said in an interview Wednesday.
“What they are looking for is a pretty significant equity interest in this project. Given our diminished fiscal capacity, that’s not a likelihood for us,” Newfoundland and Labrador Industry, Energy and Technology Minister Andrew Parsons said, but added the province might be otherwise willing to support it. “We’re talking well over 1,500 jobs in a province of half a million. It has a significant impact,” Parsons said.
Asked whether he’s concerned other companies would ask for similar investments if Husky’s request was granted, Parsons said oil companies operating in the province are facing different issues.
Parsons said talks have been ongoing in the background with the federal government.
“It only makes sense for our federal government to support our industry,” St. John’s Board of Trade CEO AnnMarie Boudreau said in the release from Husky.
Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan, who is also the member of parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
Ottawa recently pledged to invest in green projects to drive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and in recent days announced grants and investments in renewable energy projects, including a $4 million grant announced Wednesday to build a tidal energy turbine in the Bay of Fundy.