NextBridge Infrastructure has secured exclusive right from the Ontario government to construct the 450km long East-West Tie Transmission Line Project in the Canadian state.
The company, which is a partnership formed by affiliates of NextEra Energy Canada, Enbridge and OMERS Infrastructure, was issued an Order in Council (OIC) and ministerial directive, making it the licensed transmitter to undertake the East-West Tie Transmission Line Project.
The East-West Tie project will see the construction of a double-circuit 230 kV transmission line that will connect the Lakehead Transfer Station in Shuniah near the city of Thunder Bay to the Wawa Transfer Station located east of Wawa. The Canadian transmission project will also connect to the Marathon Transformer Station.
NextBridge said that the Ontario government’s decision to issue the ministerial directive ends the uncertainty surrounding on who will construct the transmission line. The project is expected to ensure the availability of power in the region.
Hydro One, which proposed to build a transmission line in the region through its 400km Lake Superior Link project, could not prevail in the competitive bid.
Ontario Energy, Northern Development and Mines Minister Greg Rickford said: “Unfortunately, the Ontario Energy Board’s review process has taken longer than expected, putting the timely construction of this necessary project at risk and potentially increasing costs for electricity customers.
“NextBridge is the right choice to quickly and efficiently complete the East-West Tie Line. NextBridge has finished the preliminary work necessary to complete the project, it has the support of local communities and First Nation and Métis partners, and the project sets in motion opportunities to create local employment for over 200 Indigenous people.”
NextBridge plans to reach out to project partners, communities and landowners in the next few weeks in addition to focusing on acquiring the final permits and launch of pre-construction activities for the transmission project.
The company is expected to give a stake of 20% in the East-West Tie Transmission Line Project at the end of the construction phase to the Bamkushwada consortium, which is made up of six First Nation communities.
NextBridge project director Jennifer Tidmarsh said: “NextBridge is ready to get to work.
“We have worked in collaboration with Indigenous and local communities and right-of-way landowners for the past five years to develop this important project that will deliver economic benefits for generations to come.”