Belledune Generating Station

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Belledune Generating Station
Belledune Generating Station is located in New Brunswick
Belledune Generating Station
Belledune Generating Station, New Brunswick
Country Canada
Location Belledune, New Brunswick
Coordinates 47°54′21″N 65°51′48″W / 47.905962°N 65.863468°W / 47.905962; -65.863468Coordinates: 47°54′21″N 65°51′48″W / 47.905962°N 65.863468°W / 47.905962; -65.863468
Status Operational
Construction began 1991
Commission date 1993
Owner(s) NB Power
Thermal power station
Primary fuel Coal
Power generation
Nameplate capacity 450 MW

The Belledune Generating Station is a 450 MW coal-fired electrical generating station located in the community of Belledune in Gloucester County, New Brunswick. It is a thermal generating station owned and operated by provincial Crown corporation NB Power.

Construction of the plant began in 1991 and it began generating electricity in 1993.[1] At 450 MW, it is designed to burn coal which is delivered by ship through the Port of Belledune and occasionally by rail or truck. Coal is mostly sourced in the United States and South America but local sources mined at Minto, NB and Sydney, NS have been used on occasion.

The Belledune plant is attractive for shipping as it is situated on the shore of Chaleur Bay adjacent to a ship-unloading pier; Terminal II at the Port of Belledune was built in 1991-1992 by the Canada Ports Corporation as part of the Belledune Generating Station project. Terminal II has a 307 metre long wharf with a 28 metre wide apron and depth alongside of 15.9 metres, thus capable of handling up to Capesize vessels of 100,000 DWT. An automated coal continuous ship unloader moves coal at 1750 metric tonnes per hour to stockpiles adjacent to the plant.

As part of the project, the Belledune River was dammed in the early 1990s to create a reservoir approximately 4 km (2.5 mi) upstream from its discharge point into Chaleur Bay. This reservoir is visible from New Brunswick Route 11 which was built on a new right of way that crosses the southern part of this reservoir, opening in the early 1990s. The construction of the Belledune Generating Station also resulted in the realignment of a 3 km (1.9 mi) section of local road New Brunswick Route 134.

The plant itself features a single boiler and a single 169 metre smokestack.[2] The plant was the first in Canada to install scrubbers to help reduce sulphur dioxide emissions; it also has an electrostatic precipitator that removes over 99% of particles in the flue gases, as well as special burners to limit nitrogen oxide emissions. The plant was designed to accommodate construction of a parallel second generating station (phase II) should one be built. An upgrade began in July 2004 which saw a Titan ProAsh facility built to recapture 75% of fly ash produced by the generating station. This has resulted in production of a synthetic gypsum byproduct which is sold by NB Power to J.D. Irving Limited for production into wallboard.

The plant consumes approximately 1 million tons of coal per year, and currently generates approximately fifteen percent of the province's electricity,[3] while producing roughly thirty percent of the province's air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions (among large industrial polluters).[4][5]

In October 2009 the provincial government announced that it had reached an agreement with Hydro Quebec to sell NB Power to that company (see Proposed sale of NB Power). The sale was not completed, however, the initial memorandum of understanding would have seen NB Power transfer all of its generating assets except for the thermal stations at Dalhousie, Belledune and Coleson Cove.

The sale of NB Power to Hydro Quebec was canceled in spring 2010, presumably sparing the Belledune Generating Station from any major changes to its operation.