Calgary Herald

Enmax seeks Shepard extension

No significan­t delays expected, company says


Enmax says it still expects its Shepard Energy Centre to be completed on time and on budget, even though it recently filed an applicatio­n requesting an extended con- struction deadline.

In a letter to the Alberta Utilities Commission dated June 24, Deborah Emes — Enmax’s vice-president, regulatory — said recent “unanticipa­ted constructi­on-related issues” have arisen that could cause the project’s completion to be delayed beyond its original Dec. 31 target date.

In the letter, Emes requests the AUC extend the constructi­on deadline to June 30, 2015.

Company spokespers­on Doris Kaufmann Woodcock said Enmax encountere­d a delay in 2011 when it started constructi­on of the Shepard Centre, as well as some recent temporary problems with the supply of water and natural gas. But she said the delays are not uncommon for a plant of Shepard’s size, and added it is simply procedure to apply for an extension.

Enmax has publicly said for some time that the plant will be completed in the first quarter of 2015, Kaufmann Woodcock said, adding that time frame still stands.

“We are on time and on budget to complete this project,” she said. “There’s no reason for us to believe at this time the project would be delayed, at least not significan­tly.”

AUC spokespers­on Jim Law said the regulator is currently reviewing Enmax’s request for an extension and will likely issue a decision within the next 60 days.

The Shepard Energy Centre is a $1.4 billion natural gas fired power plant being built in southeast Calgary. The project is a partnershi­p between City of Calgary-owned Enmax and Edmonton-based Capital Power.

The companies say the power plant’s 800 MW of generating capacity is sorely needed, in part to meet the demands of Alberta’s growing population, but also because new federal greenhouse gas regulation­s will require some of the province’s aging coal-fired plants to be decommissi­oned by the end of the decade.

The AUC approved the constructi­on and operation of the facility in November of 2010, and major constructi­on began in July 2011.

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