March 25, 2009 / 3:26 PM / in 9 years

Irving plans new power corridor to U.S. Northeast

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Irving Oil Ltd, a privately held refiner and gasoline retailer, said on Wednesday it is planning to create an “energy corridor” that could deliver as much as 1,500 megawatts of power from the Canadian province of New Brunswick to the U.S. Northeast.

Irving has launched a feasibility study into developing the initial stage of the corridor. The plan includes transmission lines capable of carrying between 1,200 and 1,500 megawatts of electricity from wind generators, as well as a natural gas co-generator that would supply base-load power for the line.

The projected 1,500 MW would be more than enough to light a city of 1 million.

The company, which is also planning a new C$8 billion ($6.6 billion) refinery at Saint John, New Brunswick, did not specify the cost of the proposed project, but said completing the first phase would likely require an investment of “several billion dollars”.

Irving said in its release the energy corridor could also accommodate natural gas and petroleum product pipelines.

The feasibility study is also being supported by the governments of New Brunswick and Maine.

($1=$1.22 Canadian)

Reporting by Scott Haggett; editing by Rob Wilson

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