Canadian electricity generating company to reduce smog-causing agents by 80%

Ontario based company Ontario Power Generation (OPG) have announced plans to begin a CA$200million project to reduce its emission of smog causing agents by 80%. They plan to install four Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) units in their Nanticoke and Lambton coal-fired generating stations, effectively diminishing nitrogen oxide by 12,000 tonnes per year – the equivalent of taking 600,000 cars off the road.

This is the first time Canada has seen the installation of such equipment and the pioneering project has been assigned to Babcock & Wilcox Canada, who will design manufacture and install the units. This contract is part of OPG’s investment in clean air technology – the total of which is expected to run up to CA$250 million with the implementation of cleaner burners along with other modifications. The company hopes to have their plans completed by November 2003.

OPG’s efforts to improve air quality are in compliance with strict Canadian Government regulations on a Clean Air Strategy, launched by Environment Minister David Anderson in spring 2000. With the installation of these SCR units transboundary pollution to the US will also be reduced, thus OPG are beginning to act on the regulations stated in the Ozone Annex that the industrial sector must decrease its emissions (see related story).

Despite the progress that OPG’s announcement brings, Environment Minister Anderson says, “more is required to reduce the health threat of smog and meet our goals”. As the Environment Minister is determined to see a better quality of air for Canadians last February he injected $120 million into his Clean Air Strategy and is adamant that the industrial sector will fulfil the demands set upon them in the Ozone Annex. He sees OPG’s plans to reduce emissions as “a first step” to commit to the reduction of pollution. However he warns that if OPG and the Ontario Government cannot produce a plan of action to meet the Ozone Annex commitments then he may resort to federal legislation to ensure international obligations are adhered to.

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