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NS Power and NewPage seek approval for biomass co-gen project


April 6, 2010
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Nova Scotia Power and NewPage Port Hawkesbury are once again seeking approval from the provincial utility regu…

Nova Scotia Power and NewPage Port Hawkesbury are once again seeking approval from the provincial utility regulator for a proposed biomass cogeneration facility. The power company recently announced an agreement with NewPage Port Hawkesbury Corp. to develop a new 60 MW biomass co-generation facility.
The development entails an investment of $200 million from Nova Scotia Power, which includes $93 million in construction costs for new facilities, $80 million to purchase assets from NewPage, and other related costs. NewPage will be responsible for the construction and operation of the co-generation facility and be completely responsible for fuel supply.
The project remains subject to regulatory approval from the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board and is targeting an in-service date of late 2012.
The two partners have previously tried for Utility and Review Board approval for this power deal, but the board said last summer it lacked approval to approve such an electricity purchase plan in advance.
Roger Taylor, business editor of the Halifax-based Chronicle Herald newspaper, says this time, the board is being asked to approve a capital work order for Nova Scotia Power to make a direct investment in the biomass power generation plant to be built at the NewPage Port Hawkesbury mill.
The project is expected to create an estimated 150 new jobs in northern Nova Scotia, primarily in the forestry sector.
NewPage and Nova Scotia Power have stated that only “stem wood” will be used in the project’s biomass energy generation. Tree stumps, tops and branches will not be removed from the forest floor as they are necessary in restoring nutrients in the soil.
The NewPage Port Hawkesbury mill, located in Point Tupper, Richmond County, has the capacity to produce 190,000 tonnes of newsprint and 360,000 tonnes of supercalendered paper. The company’s Woodlands Unit currently manages approximately 600,000 hectares of Crown land and an additional 20,020 hectares of company-owned land.

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