Hillsborough officially terminates coal-fired Wapiti power project

The British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office said June 21 that it has officially terminated the environmental assessment (EA) of the proposed Wapiti Power Development Project, after considering a June 7 letter from backer Hillsborough Resources Ltd. requesting that the project be withdrawn from the EA process.

The project was made up of a 184-MW thermal electric power plant, and an attendant surface coal mine with a production capacity of 700,000 tonnes per year. The project location is about 30 kilometers north-northeast of Tumbler Ridge.

The project had some time ago run afoul of a new British Columbia policy limiting greenhouse gas emissions, making development of new coal-fired plants in the province nearly impossible. Hillsborough, a coal producer, didn’t say in its letter why it is terminating the environmental review process, which was begun in 2006. A list of filings in this case shows that besides the June termination letter, nothing had been filed in the case since 2006.

“Hillsborough Resources Limited (Hillsborough) is a coal-mining company headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia,” said the company website. “We produce thermal coal at our Quinsam Mine on Vancouver Island and also hold considerable undeveloped coal reserves in northeastern B.C. Through our subsidiary, Quinsam Coal Corporation, we own and operate the Quinsam Mine near Campbell River, B.C. Quinsam Mine is the only underground coal mine in British Columbia, and the only underground thermal-coal mine in all of Canada. It has been in operation for more than 20 years and produces approximately 500,000 metric tonnes of high-quality coal each year.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.