Gas-fired power plant wanted

Veresen Inc. has announced plans for a natural gas-powered electricity generating facility at Terrace's Skeena Industrial Development Park

  • Aug. 26, 2013 8:00 p.m.

Veresen Inc., the same company that’s building a run of river hydroelectric project southwest of Terrace, has announced plans for another development, this one a natural gas-powered electricity generating facility at the City of Terrace’s Skeena Industrial Development Park just south of the airport.

Called the Terrace Energy Centre, the facility will “provide reliable, economic energy to support industrial development and provide emergency generation capacity in the northwest,” indicates a Veresen presentation to be made to city council tonight.

The facility “will provide a long-term, predictable taxation and revenue stream for the City of Terrace and Kitselas First Nation” and will create 300 jobs during its construction stage and 10-12 jobs after completion, Veresen’s presentation adds.

Veresen has signed a memorandum of understanding with the city for the purchase of airport-area lands.

Listed among issues are greenhouse gas emissions, nitrous oxide, sulfur oxide and particulates that would come from burning natural gas.

The report states that Veresen will apply for an official environmental review once the government and BC Hydro tell them what their generation requirements are.

BC Hydro released a long awaited electrical generation report late last week in which it indicated electricity demand will increase by 40 per cent over the next 20 years.

The report highlights Site C and conservation methods as key factors in providing electricity to meet demand but it also mentioned using natural gas as a means of producing power.

Calgary-based Veresen operates other electricity-producing facilities in Canada which feature turbines powered by natural gas.

Veresen’s presentation highlighted its business relationship with the Kitselas First Nation whose traditional territory takes in the lands around the airport.

That relationship began when Swift Power, which was subsequently bought by Veresen, began exploring the potential to build a run of river hydro project using water from the Dasque and Middle creeks southwest of Terrace.

Also regarded as beneficial to Veresen’s plans is the closeness of BC Hydro’s Skeena Substation and the natural gas line owned by Pacific Northern Gas.

Veresen has been negotiating a deal with that company to supply natural gas.

Veresen continues to construct the Dasque-Middle run-of-river hydro facility located in northwest British Columbia. This project has experienced delays due to challenges in progressing the civil works, with the project’s previous primary sub-contractor being placed into receivership. Veresen is in the process of securing the necessary sub-contractors to complete the remaining civil works. Consequently, commercial in-service is expected to be delayed until 2014.