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French company abandons plans to import US gas


French company abandons plans to import US gasParis: French energy groupEngiesaid Tuesday it had abandoned its plan to importliquefied natural gas(LNG) from the United States, a proposal which had met resistance fromenvironmental activistsand the French state.

“Engie has decided not to continue business talks with NextDecade on the project to supply gas,” an Engie spokeswoman said.

The company had been in talks on a nearly $7 billion contract to supply LNG from a liquefaction facility that NextDecade plans to build in Texas to use the ample supplies of natural gas from fracking in the region.

While the imports would have reduced France’s dependence upon Russian gas, French environmentalists are strongly opposed to fracking and the process, which involves using explosives to create cracks in rock formations to release oil and gas deposits, is banned in the country.

The French state, which holds a 24 percent stake in Engie, had also opposed the project.

“It doesn’t correspond to our climate transition policy,” said a government source on Tuesday.

US lawmakers had written to President Emmanuel Macron to get the French government to drop its opposition to the project, noting that the US LNG would have fewer emissions than gas imported from Russia or Algeria.

“The rejection of the contract by the government and Engie is new explicit recognition of the climatic, environmental and social havoc caused by gas from fracking,” said Lorette Philippot, a spokeswoman for the French branch of the Friends of the Earth environmental group.

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