SaskPower has announced that the province’s newest natural gas-fired power plant is now open.
The Chinook Power Station, located near Swift Current, was completed on-time and under budget and has been providing power to customers since mid-November according to SaskPower.
“Chinook will play a vital role in our province’s future by providing the power needed to support the goals set in Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan,” Minister Responsible for SaskPower Dustin Duncan said in a release. “The facility will provide highly efficient baseload power, which will support intermittent renewable energy and help SaskPower meet its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.”
The 353-megawatt facility utilizes combined-cycle gas turbine technology and generates enough electricity to power 350,000 homes. Natural gas power is cost-effective and generates fewer carbon emissions than coal.
“We are pleased to report that this significant project was completed on time, and $75 million under budget,” said Mike Marsh, SaskPower President & Chief Executive Officer. “Building this facility required more than two million labour hours, and thanks to the careful work of everyone involved, only one time-lost injury occurred.”
SaskPower is currently forecasting the final cost of the project to be $605 million, which is $75 million under budget. Major projects like Chinook carry contingency funds to cover events that impact schedule or cost. The Utility added that with Chinook, this fund was largely unused.
Building the facility created more than 500 jobs during the construction process with 25 workers to run the facility on a permanent basis going forward.