Saint John will supply electricity to scrap metal project
Saint John Energy has agreed to supply electricity to American Iron and Metal's waterfront scrap operation and it will do it mostly along existing lower voltage wires.
The $30-million industrial project at the city's port was in jeopardy this year when American Iron and Metal threatened to pull its operations out of Saint John this summer — after NB Power's plan to supply electricity to the project fell through.
City council blocked the construction of a high-voltage power line that bothered residents in a west-end neighbourhood. In July, a petition with 250 names on it opposing the project was presented at City Hall.
The company has stepped in with what it calls a "temporary solution" to supply electricity to the operation.
Saint John Energy said it would need its lines back in about two years.
President Eric Marr admitted Thursday that the deadline is not set in stone.
"It’s not the most efficient way to do it, and it does tie up our circuitry that we were planning in the longer term, to utilize to serve that lower west area."
Coun. Bill Farren said the temporary measure could last as long as ten years.
"Everybody was in favour of creating jobs and keeping the jobs that they have at the port but nobody in the area wanted to see transmission lines going in, like they were talking about doing," Farren said.
Clay Johnson said he is relieved he won't soon see 69,000-volt transmission lines obstructing his view of the Bay of Fundy.
"Yeah, it's good news if they're gonna find a different solution rather than build a big transmission line, that's for sure," Johnson said.
"I've heard a lot of people say that we don't want to stop people working in Saint John, but that was not our issue. We just wanted the power lines buried," he added.
Farren said mounting public pressure helped.
"The residents had to voice their concerns, otherwise, we would not have known it. Because NB Power was in there, driving stakes to get ready to put the poles up, so if it wasn't for them none of us would know."