Coal-to-biomass conversion of Atikokan plant commences

By Staff | October 24, 2012

Ontario Power Generation’s Atikokan Generating Station has burned its last piece of coal. Work to convert the facility to biomass is underway. Once complete, the converted facility will be capable of generating more than 200 MW of power. The plant is expected to be operational by late 2014.

The station includes one coal-fueled generation unit that was fired with low-sulfur lignite coal. Following the conversion, the plant will be fired with wood pellets sourced from Ontario’s forests and processes in the province in order to provide a new market for waste fiber, underutilized species, and nonmarketable and sawmill residues.

The conversion is expected to cost approximately $170 billion, and will include plant modifications to provide peak capacity and the construction of a fuel storage and handling system that can process up to 90,000 metric tons of biomass annually. The Aecon Group Inc. has been tasked with the design and construction of the fuel handling storage systems. Doosan Corp. is completing the combustion modifications.