The Dalhousie Generating Station was slated for closure in 2012. (CBC)

Liberal MLA Donald Arseneault is calling on the Progressive Conservative government to shelve plans to dismantle the Dalhousie Generating Station.

The plant closed almost two years ago when its fuel contract with Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the South American country’s state-owned oil company, expired.

NB Power spent two years exploring other fuel options for the 300-megawatt facility, but the utility eventually determined in 2011 that no other options were viable.

NB Power has confirmed two contracts have been awarded and demolition work should begin in the coming months.

Arseneault, who represents the Dalhousie-Restigouche East riding in northern New Brunswick, said it would be a shame for the economically depressed area to lose the generating station.


Dalhousie-Restigouche East Liberal MLA Donald Arseneault said New Brunswick investors have told him they would like to create a bio-energy project in the northern thermal power plant. (CBC)

Arseneault said he has been approached by a few New Brunswick investors interested in retooling the facility for a bio-energy project.

He said the provincial government should take the time to fully explore any opportunities.

When the former Liberal government announced the proposed sale of NB Power to Hydro-Québec, Dalhousie was slated to be closed.

The Progressive Conservatives, while in opposition, said they would keep the station open.

The Dalhousie station, which first opened in 1969, was upgraded in 1994. It once burned Orimulsion, but that contract with Venezuela's state-owned oil company has since ended.

While the facility's design is good until 2025, NB Power has determined it is too costly to remain open and burn oil at the plant.