Lingan Generating Station
|Lingan Generating Station|
The Lingan Generating Station viewed from the north.
|Location||Lingan, Nova Scotia|
|Owner(s)||Nova Scotia Power|
|Thermal power station|
|Secondary fuel||Bunker C (#6 Heavy Oil)|
|Nameplate capacity||620 MW|
A thermal generating station, Lingan was opened by then-provincial Crown corporation Nova Scotia Power Corporation on November 1, 1979 at the height of the 1970s oil crisis. It was designed to burn coal mined nearby by the Cape Breton Development Corporation (DEVCO) as a means of reducing Nova Scotia's reliance of foreign oil for electrical generation.
The plant burns coal and features four boilers and two 152 m (500 ft) chimneys. The plant consumes 1.5 million tonnes of coal per year and currently generates approximately twenty-five percent of the province's electricity, while producing roughly fifty percent of the province's air pollution, including hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid, hexachlorobenzene and mercury. Emissions in the form of particulates are a frequent source of pollution complaints in the neighbourhood and region.
Until the 2001 shut down of coal production by DEVCO, Lingan was supplied almost exclusively with locally mined coal from the Sydney Coal Field. Following closure of its mines, Nova Scotia Power purchased the federal Crown corporation's surface assets, including shipping piers on Sydney Harbour and the Devco Railway which was used to haul coal to the Lingan Generating Station. Nova Scotia Power subcontracted with the Quebec Railway Corporation to operate this rail line as the Sydney Coal Railway. In order to meet emissions standards, the company now imports coal containing fewer pollutants from the United States and South America, which is hauled from the Port of Sydney by the SCR to the generating station.
In 2005, Nova Scotia Power announced a $100 million upgrade for the Lingan Generating Station, including the installation of a scrubber (flue gas desulphurization) or FGD and low nitrogen oxide burners. This project was later 'scrubbed' and postponed indefinitely.
On April 14, 1994, a courier flight originating from Moncton and destine for Sydney Airport had a near collision event with the power plant. Witnesses reported that the plane had nearly struck the building on its approach to the airport. An investigation into the incidence later confirmed that the plane had dropped to 140 feet agl and came within 50 feet of the structure while traveling at over 300 mph.
- Tanya Collier MacDonald, "Lingan Plant Province's Top Polluter", Cape Breton Post September 24, 2003 (via Safe cleanup.com)