Thursday, October 1, 2009

Grand Lake Generating Station and its impending closure

Earlier this week, NB Power announced that the Grand lake Generating Station (GLGS) will close in June 2010. GLGS burns locally mined Minto coal produced by NB Coal. NB Coal's only customer is Grand Lake, therefore NB Coal will close in December 2009.

Grand Lake Generating Station has been an outstanding power station with a strong performance record. Unfortunately, the local coal mined in Minto has a very high mercury and sulphur content, and changing environmental emissions limit are playing a strong part in the decision to close the plant. (It is very difficult to "scrub" mercury out of a power plant's emissions.)

Many Local 37 members outside of GLGS have been wondering what will happen to our members at Grand Lake. Although it is too early to tell exactly where individual employees will be going, we will work with NB Power to get the best outcome possible for our members.

We have had discussions with NB Power over this impending closure, and in fact have had many meetings with them over the last several years as it became more and more obvious that the station would eventually be closing. We have participated in several information meetings for employees that NB Power held at GLGS over the last two years and Assistant Business Manager Gary Munn was present and spent a good part of the day at the station when the announcement was made.

As we move towards the final closure date, I want all members to know that we will continue to work closely with NB Power on behalf of our members at Grand Lake.

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