Atikokan Generating Station converting to biomass from coal
Conversion of the Atikokan Generating Station in Atikokan, Ontario to biomass rather than coal burning is to begin later this year.
The conversion will create 200 construction jobs and should be complete in 2014.
The biomass fuel will be in the form of wood pellets. Another 200+ jobs are expected to be supported or created to provide the pellets for the generating station.
Under the terms of the agreement to convert the station, the biomass must be sourced from Ontario’s forests and processed in Ontario. The procurement will provide a new market for waste fibre and act as a catalyst for a larger biomass industry in Ontario. Wood pellets will be made primarily from unused and underutilized species, non-marketable wood, forest residue and sawmill residue.
The converted plant will be able to deliver more than 200 megawatts of clean, renewable power, and will take the province a step closer to eliminating coal-fired electricity generation by the end of 2014.
The Atikokan Generating Station is the largest industrial employer in Atikokan and provides significant municipal revenues.