Nova Scotia Power estimates that asbestos removal at its Point Tupper generating station will be very expensive.

HALIFAX: Removing asbestos at power stations, including a local facility, could cost the province’s power provider a lot of money.

In a letter to Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board regulatory affairs officer/clerk Doreen Friis, Nova Scotia Power (NSP) capital filings manager Mark Peachey stated the board is aware NSP’s asbestos abatement program requires significant capital investment in power plants in Point Tupper, Tufts Cove, and Trenton, with the total cost for the Trenton and Point Tupper plants alone possibly reaching $40 million.

In the letter, Furey states NSP’s review of its asbestos management practices included examining how to minimize the costs, which resulted in modifications, including a new asbestos risk ranking matrix.

“Asbestos abatement work at Tufts Cove is expected to wrap up this year, and while there is currently no set end date for this work at Trenton and Point Tupper, we anticipate this work would continue over the next five to 10 years at those locations,” stated Tiffany Chase, senior communications advisor with Nova Scotia Power Inc. (NSPI). “We comply with applicable laws and regulations that require us to have a management plan to safely complete the abatement and the program is supported by plant Joint Occupational Health and Safety committees, which have had input into the revised practices.”

Chase stated NSPI will use the new asbestos risk ranking matrix to identify areas of concern and annually forecast abatement projects based on a number of factors including the status of piping, abatement work required to complete plant repairs and upgrades during planned unit outages, and the length of the required outage.

She also stated abatement will be planned and completed each year on a priority basis to maximize time and resources required to complete the work in the most efficient and cost effective manner.

“We are currently developing cost estimates based on the new practices and validating them with a third party,” Chase stated. “We expect to have all the estimates complete by March of this year.”