A Thunder Bay city councillor wants council to intervene with the province over the delay in the conversion of the Mission Island generating station.

Larry Hebert said if the conversion from coal to natural gas isn't finished on time, he’s worried the city could run into power problems once the province pulls the plug on coal plants at the end of 2014.

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The conversion of Thunder Bay's Mission Island power plant from coal power to natural gas has been halted as the Ontario Power Generation can't strike a power purchase agreement with the Ontario Power Authority. (Ontario Power Generation)

"We could have a system of rolling brownouts or blackouts in the area if we don't have this plant up and running by Jan. 1, 2015 to its full capacity," Herbert said.

The delay has come because Ontario Power Generation can't strike a power purchase agreement with the Ontario Power Authority.

OPG spokesperson Ted Gruetzner said his company has called a halt to project engineering work at the Thunder Bay generating station on Mission Island.

"We just want to make sure that we're going to have the mechanism in place till we get the power purchase agreement so we can recover our costs on this," he said.

Hebert doesn’t want any delay, so that’s why he'll request that council ask the Minister of Energy to direct the OPA to make a deal.

He noted the city can run on hydroelectric power if water levels aren't too low, but said work should continue on the conversion project.