Maxim gets another provincial approval for coal-to-gas project at Milner

Maxim Power Corp. (TSX: MSG) said Nov. 27 that Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) has approved its application for its Milner Expansion Project (M3) under this Canadian province’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA).

Earlier this year, the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) approved Maxim’s application to construct and operate M3. This prior approval, coupled with AEP approval under EPEA, now positions M3 as the only fully permitted coal-to-gas conversion power project in the province of Alberta, the company said.

M3 is a 236-MW, natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant, to be located at the existing H.R. Milner plant approximately 20 kilometers north of the town of Grande Cache, Alberta. The approved expansion will integrate 86 MW of gas turbines into the existing, coal-fired 150 MW Milner unit (called M1). Thermal energy from the exhaust will be converted to steam and utilized to generate electricity in M1. The M3 expansion will increase generating capacity at the Milner site while reducing total greenhouse gases and air emissions by an estimated 45%.

As previously reported on Nov. 23, the province of Alberta is moving forward on phasing out coal-fired electricity generation by 2030 and encouraging more renewable energy. Maxim believes it is well positioned for this shift in the composition of generation capacity, having permits to own and operate 946 MW of natural gas-fired generation projects in Alberta. The Milner Expansion Projects (M2 and M3) would increase the installed generation capacity at the existing M1 site by 606 MW up to a total of 756 MW.

Until satisfactory market and commercial conditions justify these projects, Maxim said it anticipates that it will continue to be permitted to run M1 at full capacity to Dec. 31, 2019, and at stand-by capacity thereafter until Dec. 31, 2029, consistent with the current federal regulations.

Based in Calgary, Alberta, Maxim is an independent power producer, which acquires or develops, owns and operates innovative and environmentally responsible power and power related projects. It currently owns and operates 39 power plants in Alberta, the United States and France, having 778 MW of electric generating capacity.

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.