The Canadian government is poised to spend more than $5 billion to build a massive hydraulic press for the country’s energy sector, a move that could help the country produce more hydro-electric power than it does today.
The new hydro-fracking unit at the Ontario Energy Board will create the world’s largest hydraulic press and will use the world-renowned technology that uses steam to extract oil and gas from shale rock.
The facility will produce 1,200,000 megawatts of hydro-power, about 10 percent of Ontario’s total power generation capacity.
The press, which is being built at the Hydro One site, is the biggest of its kind in North America.
Hydra One’s press is about two-thirds the size of the new press built at Ontario Energy Minister Charles Sousa’s Ontario Power Generation facility.
It is the largest in Canada and the largest hydro-pump in the world, and it will be the first in the country to be built in partnership with Canadian partners.
The press will be used to extract hydrocarbons from shale deposits and to compress the hydrocarbon rock.
Sousa said he expects the press to generate more than 100,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, equivalent to a quarter of Ontario Power’s annual electricity needs.
The project, which has received support from a $2.5-billion, 10-year federal stimulus package, is part of a $12-billion package to stimulate Ontario’s economy and help ensure it can recover from the economic impact of the recent recession.
Sosnick said the press will create a significant economic boost for Ontario.
It will bring in new jobs and the construction industry, and will create new jobs for young people, he said.
The hydro-press is expected to cost more than a billion dollars, with the government paying $1.5 million in upfront capital costs and $3.6 million in operating costs, according to the government.
It was built by Bancroft and Company, a private Canadian company.
Sorski said Ontario Power will also be able to attract the next generation of Canadian energy entrepreneurs, as well as investment from Canadian oil and mining companies.
The government expects to complete the press project by 2021, he added.
The province has already invested $1 billion in the facility, with $400 million already spent on infrastructure upgrades and another $350 million set aside to help pay for training, the province’s chief financial officer, Kevin Haney, said.
Haney said the government expects the production from the new facility to help Ontario meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2025.
The $5-5.0 billion project is expected in a presentation to the Ontario legislature next month.