Alton resuming construction work on the Project

Posted on July 04, 2016

Stewiacke, Nova Scotia (July 4, 2016) 

Construction work at the Alton Natural Gas Storage Project is scheduled to resume in July. The work, which is approved by the Government of Nova Scotia, will involve opening the riverbank along the Shubenacadie River to allow water to flow into the Alton mixing channel and include upgrades at the Project’s cavern site. 

Although construction will resume, the process of solution mining (also referred to as brining) will not start before the Court hears an Appeal by the Sipekne’katik First Nation in August. 

During a Nova Scotia Supreme Court Stay Hearing on June 22, Sipekne’katik removed its request to the Court to stop Alton from resuming construction. At the hearing, the Band asked the court to prevent Alton from starting brining operations until after the Band’s appeal has been heard on August 17 and 18, 2016. 

Brining is the process to be used at Alton to dissolve an underground salt formation and create natural gas storage caverns near Stewiacke, NS. The water used to dissolve the salt will come from the tidal Shubenacadie River. The brine created by this process, a mixture of tidal water and the dissolved salt, will be released back into the river at a salinity level within the range of normal salinity for the river. 

To support the work this summer at Alton, equipment, supplies and heavy machinery such as excavators will be onsite and more truck traffic and traffic noise will take place. For safety reasons, trucks carrying equipment and supplies to the site must travel below the posted speed limit on secondary roads. 

Alton has received all environmental and industrial approvals for construction. The approvals are the outcome of an environmental assessment of the Project, as well as an independent third party science review that concluded that the Project is unlikely to cause any significant adverse environmental effects. 

While Alton respects the right of the Sipekne’katik First Nations to file an appeal, Alton supports the decision of the Nova Scotia Minister of Environment rejecting Sipekne’katik’s earlier appeal of the approval of its Project. 

Since 2006, Alton has been meeting with stakeholders including landowners, community members, government and the Mi’kmaq to share information and exchange viewpoints. Alton continues to invite the Sipkne’katik First Nation to participate in environmental monitoring of the Project and to enter into discussions about potential meaningful benefits for the community. 

Alton is committed to continuing open dialogue with stakeholders on the Project’s environmental and safety safeguards, and the many opportunities Alton presents for Nova Scotia communities.

About Alton Natural Gas Storage L.P. 

To help meet the increasing demand for affordable natural gas year-round in Nova Scotia and to support the demand for clean, reliable energy, Alton Natural Gas Storage L.P. is developing an underground natural gas storage facility and associated pipelines in the Stewiacke Salt Formation near Alton, Nova Scotia. Natural gas and natural gas storage have an important role to play in Nova Scotia’s energy future. The new gas storage facility will help stabilize Nova Scotia’s natural gas security of supply. Salt caverns for natural gas storage are a proven and safe system for storing natural gas. Storage of natural gas will allow consumers to use natural gas bought during times of lower pricing. This is estimated to provide annual savings to Nova Scotia natural gas customers of $17 million. For more information, visit www.altonnaturalgasstorage.ca 
 

For further information, contact:
Lori Maclean – Project Public Relations
(902) 789-6111
lori.maclean@altagas.ca

AltaGas Ltd. Media Relations
(403) 691-7197
media.relations@altagas.ca