Alton Gas project being discontinued, AltaGas announces

STEWIACKE: The sale of the Nova Scotia utility that was part of the Alton Gas Project has led AltaGas to announce in a release Oct. 22 it would be discontinuing the project.

The release says the plan was for the storage project to create synergies with the local natural gas utility in Nova Scotia as the primary customer for the natural gas stored in the caverns.

“At the time AltaGas became involved in the Alton Project, the local natural gas utility was part of the AltaGas family of companies,” the release said.

It continued saying the project has received mixed support, challenges and experienced delay.

In addition, in 2018, AltaGas divested its interest in the local natural gas utility as the company repositioned its focus on two core areas of business, midstream and energy export opportunities off the West Coast of North America and natural gas utilities located in the U.S.

“With the sale of the Nova Scotia utility, the repositioning of the business and the challenging nature of the storage project economics, AltaGas has decided not to continue with the development of Alton and to move forward with decommissioning the project,” the release said. “In the coming weeks and months, we will be discussing next steps related to decommissioning the project with regulators at the provincial and federal governments, the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia and other key stakeholders.”

The release continued saying as they beging the process to decommission Alton, they will continue working to minimize the environmental impact as they remain committed to the health of the Shubenacadie River estuary.

Updates will be provided to local stakeholders on the decommissioning process on the project’s website, www.altonnaturalgasstorage.ca

“We want to thank the people and organizations that contributed to the development of Alton, including the more than 70 Nova Scotia companies that provided goods, services and labour to the project,” the release said.

“We appreciate your engagement and commitment to Alton and believe that natural gas storage remains extremely important for the Maritimes and New England market, with natural gas demand continuing to grow in Nova Scotia among businesses and homeowners.”