So what happens now to the plan to burn wood for power in Port Hawkesbury?
Remember the plan to burn wood in Port Hawkesbury to create power for Nova Scotia Power?
You may have been thinking that plan was dead now that the NewPage mill is being idled, but you may be wrong.
Nova Scotia Power included a clause in the original agreement specifying that if NewPage goes out of business, the province has agreed to give Nova Scotia Power access to the wood needed for the plant.
What does that mean? It means Nova Scotia Power has the right to harvest their required 175,000 tonnes of biomass from Crown Land.
The biomass plant, worth $200 million, is expected to be complete in 2012. It is being constructed to fulfill the province’s desire to have 25% of its power generated by renewable sources by 2015.
Neal Livingston, a small hydro producer and an environmentalist, told the CBC, that the power utility has no experience in forestry, but his strongest criticism is reserved for the government’s decision to handover a big chunk of the province’s wood supply with no public discussion.
“This should be a complete scandal that the government gave them this right to Crown land. I mean, anybody who would want to buy NewPage is suddenly buying them without their biomass supply and without the ability to generate their own power if they want to do that. So, effectively, it’s a much diminished asset,” said Livingston.
A Natural Resources Department spokesman said the province has agreed to supply wood from its Crown land to keep the mill’s boiler running if it does cease operations.
N.S. Power given rights to Crown wood: critic – Biomass plant will operate even if NewPage fails (CBC)