TransCanada spending C$2.4bn on Bruce Power revival

TransCanada (TSX: TRP) President and CEO Russ Girling said Oct. 30 that the Bruce Power nuclear complex refurbishment will deliver cash flow for decades to come.

TransCanada officials also said the company is investing roughly C$2.4bn in the refurbishment, which is returning to service long-idle Bruce Power nuclear units. The remarks came during a third quarter earnings conference call.

TransCanada is a member of the Bruce Power partnership, which is in the process of returning the Bruce Power station to full operation as a 6,200-MW complex, which would be the world’s largest. Cameco (TSX: CCO) and other Canadian energy and investment entities are also members of the Bruce Power partnership.

At Bruce A and Bruce B, Units 3-to-8 produce 4,700 MW and Units 1-2 will soon add another 1,500 MW at the complex. Bruce Power said Oct. 23 that the 750-MW Unit 1 had achieved commercial operation. Bruce Power also said recently its Unit 2 was providing electricity to the Ontario grid for the first time in 17 years.

Napanee power plant to move forward

Girling also noted progress on nine solar power projects in Ontario. He also noted an agreement has been reached to build the 900-MW Napanee power plant in Ontario.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed with Ontario Power Authority Sept. 24 to build 900-MWt Napanee natural gas power plant in eastern Ontario. TransCanada is working with OPA to close a power contract by mid-December. A 20-year contract is being negotiated.

The Napanee plant would act as a replacement facility for one planned and subsequently cancelled in the community of Oakville. Under the terms of the MOUs, TransCanada will be reimbursed for approximately $250m of verifiable costs, primarily for natural gas turbines at Oakville which will be deployed at Napanee. The company will further invest approximately $1bn in the replacement Napanee facility.

TransCanada hopes to see the new gas plant in operation in 2017.

TransCanada announced comparable earnings for third quarter 2012 of $349m or $0.50 per share. Net income attributable to common shares for third quarter 2012 was $369m or $0.52 per share. The base business did well in the quarter despite weak demand coupled with soft gas and power prices.

Earnings in third quarter were affected by Sundance A and Bruce Unit 4 outages and the current natural gas environment. Bruce A Unit 4 life extension outage should be finished by the end of 2012. Sundance A should return to service by fall of 2013. Sundance A has been affected by a “force majeure” event.

Positive economic contributions are expected by completion of Cartier Wind and the addition of Canadian Solar developments, officials said.

Much discussion is given to TransCanada’s various oil pipeline projects in Canada and the United States – including the much-discussed Keystone XL pipeline.

Girling also said it appears company infrastructure in the East came through Hurricane Sandy with minimal impact. The Ravenswood power plant near Queens, N.Y., continued to generate electricity during the storm, officials said.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.