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Kelly Says Potential Gas Distributers Need Big Energy Users

(Friday, March 29/2002)-- The provincial government must soon resolve the issue of allowing an "industrial bypass" provision if it wants to attract a new distributor for natural gas in Nova Scotia, Mayor Peter Kelly said today.

Mayor Kelly said natural gas distribution in Halifax Regional Municipality alone would generate new revenues that could help the Province's financial situation; as well, it would serve as a great symbol of new investment and new energy alternatives in Nova Scotia.

"I understand that natural gas could be available to businesses in the Burnside Industrial Park in a matter of weeks, " he said.

The Mayor said the industrial bypass provision, which would allow a natural gas distributor to offer discounted rates to major commercial users, is the major consideration in making the gas distribution project financially viable and attractive to investors.

"The project is certainly less attractive to potential gas distributors if there is only a single rate for both large commercial users and residential consumers. The big users, who see natural gas as another energy alternative, require a substantial power source all-year round. On the other hand, residential consumers would not likely be using much natural gas during the late spring, summer and early Fall months. To be viable, there must be considerable demands for natural gas throughout the year, " he said.

The move to distribute natural gas to municipalities throughout Nova Scotia came to a halt last year, when Sempra Gas and the Province of Nova Scotia could not come to terms on a number of issues. Sempra later abandoned its franchise to distribute natural gas in Nova Scotia.

Halifax Regional Municipality and SaskEnergy Corporation of Saskatchewan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to consider pursuing the natural gas distribution franchise within HRM. However, SaskEnergy is waiting for clarification of the ground rules by the Province before deciding whether to pursue a distribution franchise before the Nova Scotia Utilities and Review Board..

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Mayor Peter Kelly
(902) 835-6097

Above content last modified Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 8:49am.