VICTORIA – Construction of the Northwest Transmission Line could be in jeopardy if the BC NDP has its way, says Energy and Mines Minister Rich Coleman.
“B.C.’s Northwest region is growing in economic stature and has untapped natural resources that will lead to the creation of thousands of jobs, including in First Nations communities,” said Coleman. “The Northwest Transmission Line is key to future development and B.C. cannot afford any delays on this project. The BC NDP must assure local communities that they will not halt construction of the Northwest Transmission Line”
Coleman was responding to BC NDP energy critic, John Horgan, whose recent comments cast doubt about the opposition party’s commitment to make the necessary long-term investments to meet British Columbia’s growing demand for electricity – forecast to grow by as much as 50 per cent over the next 20 years.
“…We have to look at what projects Hydro can proceed with and cannot. Some of these capital projects are going to have to be delayed.” (John Horgan, MLA Juan de Fuca: Voice of BC, Shaw Television, June 9, 2012)
“The Northwest Transmission line is crucial for the development of new mines like the recently permitted Red Chris Mine. This transmission line is extremely important in allowing clean energy projects along the North Coast to gain access to the grid to support the growing demand for power in our Province. We cannot afford to let these opportunities be delayed,” said Coleman.
Expected to be completed fall 2015, the 344km-long Northwest Transmission Line will run between the Skeena substation near Terrace and Bob Quinn Lake, where a new substation will be built.
The new line will provide a reliable supply of clean power to potential industrial developments in the region and has the potential to give more communities access to the electricity grid, reducing their dependence of power from diesel generators.
The $561 million project is expected to create 840 direct jobs during the course of construction and upon completion, has the potential for more than 10,000 jobs and to attract $15 billion in investment.