Local opposition kills C$5 billion Canadian dam plan

Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:18pm EDT
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CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - TransCanada Corp and Atco Ltd have abandoned plans to build a C$5 billion ($4.85 billion) dam on the Slave River in northern Alberta after a local native group refused to back the project.

The planned dam was a run-of-river project that would have generated 1,200 to 1,300 megawatts of electricity from the Slave, an undeveloped river that carries more that two-thirds of Alberta's waterflow north to Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories.

The project, first proposed two years ago, was still being studied, but the partners could not win the support of regional aboriginal groups.

"Atco and TransCanada will not be advancing any further studies on the Slave River as Smith Landing First Nation has determined that their vision for the Slave River is not compatible with large scale hydro development," Terry Cunha, a spokesman for TransCanada said in an email."

TransCanada is the country's biggest pipeline company, and owns generating plants in Canada and the United States. It is a partner in Bruce Power LP, which operates the Bruce nuclear facility in Ontario, which supplies a fifth of the province's electricity.

Diversified energy and utilities company Atco owns generating plants in Canada, Britain and Australia.

($1=$1.03 Canadian)

(Reporting by Scott Haggett; editing by Rob Wilson)