The $200 million project, which remains subject to regulatory approval from the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, is targeting an in-service date of late 2012. The development entails an investment by Nova Scotia Power Inc. ("NSPI") of $93 million in construction costs for new facilities, $80 million to purchase assets from NewPage Port Hawkesbury Corp ("NewPage"), and other related costs. NewPage will be responsible for the construction and operation of the co-generation facility and for fuel supply. The proposed local biomass fueled co-generation facility could supply Nova Scotians with approximately 400 GWh annually, representing approximately 3% of the province's total electricity requirement.
Regarding the biomass to be used to fuel the project, only "stem wood" is being considered. Tree stumps, tops and branches would therefore not be removed from the forest floor as they are necessary in restoring nutrients in the soil so new trees can grow. NewPage has used biomass sustainably since the early 1980s, and is the only company in the world to achieve all three forest management certifications; Canadian Standards Association, Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Forest Stewardship Council.
Of the project, Robin McAdam, NSPI's Executive Vice President - Sustainability, declared: "We are working with one of our largest customers to sustainably displace imported fossil fuels, a project that will benefit the environment and economy in Nova Scotia." He added: "This partnership with NewPage is consistent with our commitment to only pursue projects where we are assured that sustainable harvesting practices will be employed. At the same time a request for proposals (RFP) is being issued to solicit competing renewable projects that provide firm energy. The RFP process will test the competitiveness of this proposed project."
Commenting as well, NewPage's Director - Woodlands and Strategic Initiatives, Mr. Bill Stewart, said: "This co-generation project is one more step in our continuing journey to make the Port Hawkesbury mill the most energy efficient and environmentally sustainable in the industry [...] this will help the Port Hawkesbury mill move towards elimination of fossil fuel use at our mill site."