Canada's Irving to study Bay of Fundy tidal power

Mon May 26, 2008 5:45pm EDT
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CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Irving Oil Ltd, which is planning a second major refinery in New Brunswick, will study the potential for a tidal power development in the Bay of Fundy, site of the world's highest tides, the privately held company said on Monday.

Irving has teamed up with the nonprofit Huntsman Marine Science Centre to conduct two years of research on 11 prospective generating sites near the north shore of the bay, which lies between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

The partners aim to examine tidal patterns, climatic conditions, environmental impact and the behavior of aquatic life in the areas, said Irving Oil, the energy arm of Atlantic Canada's biggest family conglomerate.

Irving is considering a 300,000 barrel a day refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, a C$7 billion ($7.1 billion) development that would double its refining capacity.

One hundred billion metric tons of seawater flow in and out of the Bay of Fundy during a single tide cycle, more than the combined flow of all the world's freshwater rivers, according to the Bay of Fundy Tourism Partnership.

($1=$0.99 Canadian)

(Reporting by Jeffrey Jones; editing by Rob Wilson)