Selective Catalytic Reduction is to be fitted at Ontario Power Generation’s Nanticoke and Lambton coal-fired power plants. A $200 million contract has been placed with Babcock & Wilcox Canada of Cambridge, Ontario, who will be prime contractor for the engineering and construction work.

The contract with Babcock & Wilcox Canada is part of Ontario Power Generation’s investment in clean air technology, which will see well over $250 million spent on NOx reduction at Nanticoke and Lambton. As well as the SCR projects, this will also include cleaner burners and other modifications.

The SCR systems are expected to reduce NOx by 80 per cent on the four units in which they will be installed. They will reduce total station emissions by 25 per cent.

It is estimated that some 100 SCR systems have been fitted on coal plants worldwide and over 130 installations are planned in the United States. But the Nanticoke and Lambton projects are the first SCR projects in Canada.

The four SCR systems Ontario Power Generation is installing are expected to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) by about 12 000 tonnes per year, or the equivalent of taking 600 000 cars off the road.

The first of the four SCR systems will be in service at Lambton’s unit 4, near Sarnia, by late 2002. SCRs at Nanticoke unit 8 and Lambton unit 3 will be completed by May 2003, and an SCR for Nanticoke’s unit 7 will be installed by November 2003.

Ontario Power Generation contributes just seven per cent of the smog-causing agents affecting air in Ontario, but the company has undertaken a large integrated emissions reduction programme to lower that even further. The company says it has invested in low-NOx burners, measures to improve combustion processes, turbine improvements and improved control systems that increase station efficiency. The company is also involved in industry research into new ways of reducing the impact of its coal stations.

OPG has examined use of natural gas and has made use of it where applicable. However, to replace the production of Nanticoke with natural gas would be tremendously expensive for consumers, with minimal environmental benefit, OPG believes. Nanticoke presently contributes some four per cent of the NOX affecting Ontario.

On the nuclear front, Ontario Power Generation plans to proceed with the restart of the Pickering A CANDU station, subject to appropriate regulatory approvals. This will add 2000 MW of emission-free generation to the system, the company says.

Ontario Power Generation will plan to quadruple its renewable energy portfolio, to 500 MW by 2005.