Port Hawkesbury Biomass Co-Generation Project On Track

Nov. 1, 2010 - NewPage Port Hawkesbury and Nova Scotia Power are proceeding with the 60-megawatt biomass co-generation facility recently approved by the Nova Scotia Utility & Review Board.

NewPage said that the sale of certain mill assets is expected to close in the near term. Project planning, engineering and procurement work have been ramped up in the past few weeks recognizing the need to have the plant in service in early 2013.

"The new biomass facility is important for NewPage, for the Port Hawkesbury Mill and for rural Nova Scotia", said Bill Stewart, Director, Woodlands and Strategic Initiatives, NewPage Port Hawkesbury. "In addition to supporting the local economy, it helps our mill remain a model for sustainable operation."

"This development in cooperation with our largest customer provides benefits for all ratepayers," said Robin McAdam, Executive Vice President, Sustainability for NS Power. "It creates and protects jobs in Nova Scotia, redirects spending on fuel from foreign suppliers to Nova Scotians, and helps meet our renewable energy goals. I want to emphasize NS Power's commitment to ensuring that sustainable forestry management practices are used in the fuel supply process."

The $208 million biomass project is expected to create an estimated 150 new jobs in Northern Nova Scotia, primarily in the forestry sector, and approximately 50 person-years of employment will also be created during the construction phase. The co-generation facility will produce about 400 gigawatt hours of energy a year — or about 3% of Nova Scotia's total electricity requirements.

NewPage is responsible for the construction and operation of the co-generation facility as well as the fuel supply. Biomass is one of Nova Scotia's options for renewable energy, as outlined in the Renewable Electricity plan. Only "stem wood" will be used to make electricity. Tree stumps, tops and branches will not be removed from the forest floor because they're necessary to restore nutrients in the soil.