Crystal clean is Canada’s largest clean energy producer and one of the country’s largest producers of liquefied natural gas.
But now it’s going to get a lot tougher for the company to operate in Alberta.
In a new report, the Alberta government says that the company will have to either move operations to other jurisdictions or close, potentially triggering a domino effect that could cause major changes to the industry.
That’s because Alberta has a “zero tolerance” approach to energy companies in the province.
That means it bans new projects within its borders and requires all new projects to be approved by the province’s environmental review board, which will often be a private company.
The Alberta government has argued that its zero-tolerance approach is necessary to protect the environment and the public health.
However, the report says the Alberta Environmental Assessment Board (EAAB) has not assessed the environmental risks posed by the proposed new plant and has not issued a report on the potential environmental impacts of that facility.
Crystal clean has said it will fight the new ban, but it’s unclear if the province will accept that argument.
If it does, Crystal Clean would likely be forced to find other locations to operate.
“There is a real danger that other jurisdictions will be forced into the same fate,” said John Anderson, Crystal clean’s president.
“The industry is already very nervous about that.”
While Alberta’s government is not in favour of the new plan, the province says it is still open to working with Crystal clean on a new project.
In its report, Alberta’s environmental assessment board said it could work with the company on a project in Alberta if it could find a location that meets all of its requirements.”EAAB would be able to review the environmental impacts associated with the proposed project and consider whether there are reasonable alternatives that would not negatively impact the environment or public health,” the board wrote.
“EAAB’s review is expected to take several months.”
Anderson says the company is currently in discussions with Alberta and other jurisdictions about the potential project.
“They are all trying to figure out what it is, what they want, what’s the best way forward,” Anderson said.
“Crystal is just trying to work out how to survive, to get out of the situation.”