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Ontario Helps Thunder Bay Clean Energy Plant Expand

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Ontario Helps Thunder Bay Clean Energy Plant Expand

McGuinty Government Helps AbitibiBowater Stay Competitive, Create Jobs

AbitibiBowater will soon be providing more clean power for Northwestern Ontario and adding 56 permanent jobs.

Through an agreement with the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), AbitibiBowater will increase its electricity generation capacity by 40 megawatts, producing enough additional power for 38,000 homes. The project is expected to be completed by January 2013.

The expansion is also supported by Ontario's Forest Sector Prosperity Fund and will add capacity to AbitibiBowater's existing biomass-fuelled combined heat and power (CHP) project. These types of projects help industries become more energy efficient and reduce costs, while supplying clean electricity for Ontarians.

AbitibiBowater is also taking advantage of the Industrial Conservation Initiative which is available to over 200 of Ontario's largest energy consumers. This program encourages industrial companies to shift their electricity consumption to off-peak hours, helping companies like AbitibiBowater stay competitive, invest more in their businesses and create new jobs.

Strengthening the Northern Ontario economy, supporting projects that build a clean energy economy and providing electricity price relief to businesses and families are important parts of the McGuinty government's Open Ontario Plan.

Quick Facts

  • AbitibiBowater's CHP project is being supported by a $9.6-million grant from Ontario's Forest Sector Prosperity Fund.
  • St. Marys Paper Corporation has signed a CHP contract for a new 30-megawatt biomass-fuelled plant in Sault Ste. Marie.
  • In 2006 the OPA awarded seven CHP contracts with enough total capacity to provide power for 400,000 Ontario homes. The projects represent a total capital investment of $800 million in Windsor, Kingsville, London, Oshawa, Markham, Sault Ste. Marie and Thorold.
  • The Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program is providing electricity price rebates of two cents per kilowatt-hour to qualifying large industrial facilities that commit to an electricity efficiency and sustainability plan. On average this would reduce industrial electricity prices by about 25 per cent, based on 2009 levels.
  • The conversion of two coal-burning units at Ontario Power Generation's Thunder Bay plant will cut emissions in half, create 100 construction jobs and help protect jobs at the plant.

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“Ontario's Energy Plan is helping our industrial sector stay competitive with programs to encourage businesses to generate clean power, conserve energy and reduce costs. Our Long-Term Energy Plan is keeping the lights on with more clean energy, and helping northern families and industry to save on energy costs.”

Brad Duguid

Minister of Energy

“Today's announcement is great news for AbitibiBowater and for Thunder Bay. I am very pleased that my Ministry was able to support this project, which will not only provide clean power for Northwestern Ontario, but also help the mill stay competitive for years to come.”

Michael Gravelle

Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry, and MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North

“I am pleased that our government is financially supporting this private-sector investment into our local AbitibiBowater mill. Combined with previous announcements and the efforts of the employees and company officials, this mill looks to be very competitively positioned for years to come.”

Bill Mauro

MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan

“This investment is key regarding the mill's future competitiveness. Many people worked on this project over the last three years. I would like to thank the Government of Ontario for their ongoing support, and thank the OPA for being part of this success. Most importantly, I thank our employees for their unwavering support throughout this process. It made this project possible.”

Douglas Murray

General Manager, Thunder Bay Operations, AbitibiBowater

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