Queen Mononoke steelmaking, ironmaking and coal ironmaking are now all iron and steel manufacturing companies, industry minister says
By JOHN WOODHAMNThe Canadian PressThe industry minister who is leading the country’s push to revive coal-fired electricity generation has laid out a blueprint for reviving the coal industry in the wake of the collapse of a coal-burning power plant.
The prime minister and the Industry Minister’s Office announced Wednesday that the two provinces of Ontario and Alberta have joined a coalition to revive the countrys largest coal mining and processing operation.
Ontario will also provide $300 million to build a new, larger coal processing plant in B.C. and B.P.E. is funding a $1 billion expansion of a small ironmaking plant in Nova Scotia.
The two provinces will also announce a plan to help coal producers build capacity in the coal mines they own.
Both plans call for a return to an old model for the industry.
The first was the province of Ontario’s 1980s plan to revive its ironmaking industry by buying up the mines it had left in the 1970s.
The other was the plan proposed by the Alberta government in the early 1990s to revive production of steelmaking and cement production by buying back land at the mines that were once owned by the companies.
The coal industry has been devastated by the closure of a power plant in central Ontario that forced the closure last fall of more than 200 mines.
The company that operates the plant, E.ON, will have to buy back the land it lost in the shutdown to make room for the new plant.
Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia are all working to restart the coal-mining industry in order to create jobs and revive the industry as a whole.
A Canadian Coal Council report released this month called the closure an “insult to the Canadian economy and the people who made the country great.”
It said it was a “huge loss” for the economy and that it would have been impossible for the plants to be operational without the federal government.
“This is about jobs, it’s about bringing new investment, it is about rebuilding our energy infrastructure and we will make it happen,” said Greg Rickard, president of the Canadian Coal Association.
In its announcement Wednesday, the prime minister’s office said the government will provide $100 million over five years for a new coal processing facility in Bisto, Ont.
It also said the federal money will be used to fund an expansion of the Bistos ironmaking facility, to expand production of concrete and steel.
The government will also invest $100.5 million to establish a new cement processing facility to help fill the void left by the shuttered mine.
Ontario and Alberta will also fund the B.S. Steel project, which will add another $100 to the provinces total coal industry investment.
Premier Kathleen Wynne said the new $1.8-billion expansion will create thousands of construction jobs, while the BPS will create at least 300 jobs.
The province has already invested $6.6 billion in BPS and is committed to continue that support for the future.
The Ontario and BPS governments are working to ensure that coal producers in Bountiful and Abbotsford, B.K. have the capital they need to get started on the plant.
The plants are still being built.