Ontario Government Backs Liquid Natural Gas Plant in North

Efforts to bring natural gas to the region have received a major boost.

Ontario Infrastructure Minister Monte McNaughton's announced $27-million for a new liquefied natural gas plant in Nipigon - the facility would convert natural gas into a liquid form so it could be trucked to consumers.

A government release expects the plant to help replace costlier fuel sources to more than 550 businesses and 5000 homes - saving residents an estimated $181.3-million and businesses $65.3-million on energy bills over 40 years - while creating 700 to 2800 jobs in the region.

It's actually part of a multi-year effort by a few communities in the region, including Manitouwadge, Marathon, Schreiber, Terrace Bay, and Wawa - in fact, a second phase of the project would see the liquid natural gas provided to the communities - the government expects the expansion to contribute $73-million to the province's GDP.

Ontario's Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation is providing an additional $3.4-million to support the second phase, particularly developing engineering and design plans, as well as addressing permits, regulatory approvals, and licencing requirements to bring natural gas to residential, commercial, and institutional users in the region.

Update at 4:35 pm: JJAM FM News has received these official comments from Minister Monte McNaughton: