NEW – QC: Natural gas expansion questioned by the CPA and AQP
Énergir is asking the Régie de l'énergie du Québec to approve an investment project aimed at extending the natural gas network between Val-Joli and Richmond with government financial assistance of 10.9 million, representing more than 93 per cent of total costs. For the CPA and AQP, this project would simply not exist if it was not subsidized by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Quebec (MERN) and the Municipality of Richmond.
In a letter submitted to the Régie on this matter, the CPA and AQP specified the following:
- The announced GHG reductions are false since they targeted companies using propane in large numbers. Replacing propane with natural gas will not reduce emissions.
- The analysis shows that most of the targeted companies would only use natural gas for space heating. Replacing propane would not provide them with a significant advantage.
- Moreover, considering that one of the companies concerned has already signed a contract with Hydro-Québec to replace propane with electricity for the conversion of its processes and that Énergir has only demonstrated firm contracts with 5 of the 25, the number of potential customers (and the total volume) is therefore unproven.
In short, the potential market is exaggerated, so are greenhouse gas reductions and, were it not for financial assistance obtained for inexplicable reasons, this project would never have been submitted to the Régie. The project to extend the Énergir network in Richmond does not in any way demonstrate overall profitability for Québec, for Richmond or for the manufacturers of the Richmond area.
The CPA and AQP submitted that the existing solution – the use of propane – is much more appropriate from both an environmental and economic point of view. The Régie de l'énergie has a duty to consider whether this unfair competition is appropriate.
The Régie, which did not schedule hearings, followed up on the arguments of the CPA and the AQP since it requested answers to our questions from Énergir. The deadline for submitting comments has been extended and before submitting further comments, the CPA and AQP will be able to analyze Énergir's responses.