Lingan Generating Station
The Lingan Generating Station is a 600 MW Canadian electrical generating station located in the community of Lingan in Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Regional Municipality. A thermal generating station, Lingan was opened by then-provincial Crown corporation Nova Scotia Power Corporation on November 1, 1979 at the height of the 1970s oil crisis. It was designed to burn coal mined nearby by the Cape Breton Development Corporation (DEVCO) as a means of reducing Nova Scotia's reliance of foreign oil for electrical generation. The plant burns coal and features four boilers and two 150-metre chimneys. The plant consumes 1.5 million tonnes of coal per year and currently generates approximately twenty-five percent of the province's electricity, while producing roughly fifty percent of the province's air pollution, including hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid, hexachlorobenzene and mercury. Emissions in the form of particulates are a frequent source of pollution complaints in the neighbourhood and region. Until the 2001 shut down of coal production by DEVCO, Lingan was supplied almost exclusively with locally mined coal from the Sydney Coal Field. Following closure of its mines, Nova Scotia Power purchased the federal Crown corporation's surface assets, including shipping piers on Sydney Harbour and the Devco Railway which was used to haul coal to the Lingan Generating Station. Nova Scotia Power subcontracted with the Quebec Railway Corporation to operate this rail line as the Sydney Coal Railway. It now imports coal from the United States and South America, which is hauled from the Port of Sydney by the SCR to the generating station. In 2005, Nova Scotia Power announced a $100 million upgrade for the Lingan Generating Station, including the installation of a scrubber (flue gas desulphurization) or FGD and low nitrogen oxide burners. This project was later 'scrubbed' and postponed indefinitely.