Gas-fired powered plant rising near Courtright

From   The Observer

By Paul Morden

The natural gas-fired electricity plant voters in Mississauga didn’t want is taking shape on Oil Springs Line in St. Clair Township.

Construction is well underway on the $360-million plant Ontario’s Liberal government announced in 2012 for Lambton County, to replace a controversial one Toronto-based Eastern Power was building in Mississauga when the province called a halt to the work during the 2011 provincial election campaign.

Initially, the province offered Eastern Power the option of building a replacement 300-MW plant on land next to the now mothballed coal-fired Lambton Generating Station, but the company decided on a site just down the road and began construction in July 2013.

Hubert Vogt, vice-president of Eastern Power, said the buildings are now up at the site of what’s known as the Greenfield South Power Corporation project.

Those buildings are being enclosed and an electrical switch yard is being built.

“Our heat recovery steam generator and our cooling tower are done, so all of the major pieces are pretty well there,” Vogt said.

“Now, it’s question of hooking it all up and integrating all of the pieces of equipment with one another.”

Company officials hope the work can be completed in the spring of 2015, he said.

Vogt said there are approximately 150 construction trades people currently working at the site, as well as the company’s supervision and engineering staff.

The plant is expected to have a full-time staff of approximately 20 workers, once it’s operating.

A chief operating engineer for the site has been been the only permanent position filled so far, but the company has been working on plans to fill the rest of the staff positions, Vogt said.

“We’ve just got a process in place and it will be unfolding pretty soon.”

He said construction has progressed without major issues, so far, although the recent cold winter was a challenge since much of the work happening at that time was outside.

“This year, we should have most of the work in the winter to be done indoors,” Vogt said.

“We’re happy that things have moved along as smoothly as they have.

“Hopefully in about half a year’s time, or so, we’ll be starting the plant up, and we’ll end up with at least 20 years of operating time out of this facility, or maybe more.”

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