The Qulliq Energy Corp. has asked the Nunavut government for permission to build a new $32.4-million diesel-burning power plant in Arctic Bay to replace a 45-year-old structure that’s now too small, too unsafe, and incapable of meeting the community’s electrical energy needs.
The existing plant in Arctic Bay, built in 1974, is in poor condition and continues to deteriorate, the QEC said in its application.
Also, the maximum generating capacity of the existing plant falls short of meeting the community’s peak load by a factor of about 20 per cent.
And there’s not enough room to add new generator sets to the aging building, due to lack of space and the building’s poor overall condition.
The existing Arctic Bay plant is located on the shoreline, surrounded by other structures in the built-up area of the community. That means there’s not enough land available to expand that building.
“It is not technically feasible to expand capacity of the existing power plant due to lack of space and poor building infrastructure condition. This situation places the community at great risk of QEC not being able to supply safe, reliable power to the community,” the QEC application said.
The new plant would be built on the north side of the Nanisivik Highway, about 1.2 kilometres outside town, beside the tank farm.
It will use hospital-grade silencers and industrial scrubbers to reduce noise and air pollution, and include two 90,000-litre double-wall fuel tanks.
That would be an improvement on the existing plant’s single-wall fuel tank, which is not compliant with modern building codes.
QEC filed the application with Jeannie Ehaloak, the minister responsible for the Crown corporation, on Nov. 8.
Because the total cost of the project exceeds $5 million, the QEC must receive approval from the minister before going ahead with it.