THUNDER BAY, ONT. — The Ontario government is providing funding for a new liquefied natural gas plant in Nipigon, Ont., which will enable the first natural gas delivery system of its kind in the province.
Ontario will provide $27 million towards the plant, which would convert natural gas into a liquid form so it can be transported to customers. It would replace costlier fuel sources for more than 550 businesses and 5,000 homes — saving residents an estimated $181.3 million and businesses $65.3 million on energy bills over 40 years, indicates a release. This project would also create between 700 and 2,800 jobs in the area.
“The Nipigon LNG project would enable northern businesses to cut operating costs, improve their competitiveness and attract more investment to the area,” said Greg Rickford, minister of energy, northern development and mines, in the release. “It would also assist in expanding Northern Ontario’s natural gas distribution network to households, which would make life more affordable for families.”
The liquefied natural gas plant is the first phase of the project. A planned second phase will extend the benefits of natural gas to five Lake Superior north shore communities including Marathon, Terrace Bay, Schreiber, Manitouwadge and Wawa, as well as additional towns and First Nations communities, states the release. An additional $3.4-million investment through Ontario’s Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation will support the second phase.
“Our communities have been severely impacted by high energy costs,” said Jody Davis, mayor of Terrace Bay. “Many people in Northern Ontario have had hydro bills over $1,000 per month in the winter. Today’s announcement will do so much to lower our energy costs, making them comparable to the rest of the users in Ontario.”