THUNDER BAY — Today the Ontario government announced support for a new liquefied natural gas plant in Nipigon to help create jobs and make businesses more competitive in Northern Ontario.
"Our Government for the People is investing in the North, creating jobs, making businesses more competitive and making life more affordable for residents," said Infrastructure Minister Monte McNaughton.
Ontario will provide $27 million towards the plant, which would convert natural gas into a liquid form, so it could be safely and economically trucked to customers. It would replace costlier fuel sources to 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. This project would also create around 700 - 2,800 jobs in the region.
"We are pleased with Ontario's support for this project, which would enable the first natural gas delivery system of its kind in the province," said Joshua Samuel, President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Partner of Northeast Midstream LP. "It would bring significant cost savings to businesses and ultimately, to municipalities and First Nations."
"The Nipigon LNG project would enable northern businesses to cut operating costs, improve their competitiveness and attract more investment to the area - sending a strong signal to the world that Ontario is open for business," said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. "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, where feasible.
- An additional $3.4-million investment through Ontario’s Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation will go towards the second phase of the project, and would support the Lake Superior north shore communities of Manitouwadge, Marathon, Schreiber, Terrace Bay and Wawa in developing the engineering and design plans, and addressing permits, regulatory approvals and licencing requirements needed to bring natural gas to residential, commercial, and institutional users within the region.
- Expanding natural gas access to Manitouwadge, Marathon, Schreiber, Terrace Bay and Wawa would contribute $73 million towards Ontario’s GDP.
- The project is being led by Northeast Midstream, an Ontario-based energy partnership focused on expanding natural gas service to communities and industries not currently served by the traditional pipeline model.
- Expanding access to natural gas is a top priority for the Government of Ontario. The recent passage of Bill 32, the Access to Natural Gas Act, makes it possible to implement a new program that would, once the regulations are in place, be designed to expand natural gas distribution systems to more parts of rural and Northern Ontario, as well as First Nations communities.