Quebec premier pledges to develop 1,500-MW La Romaine if re-elected

Quebec Premier Jean Charest pledged March 14 to proceed with development of the four-plant, 1,500-MW La Romaine hydroelectric complex if he is re-elected.

In remarks to the Saguenay Chamber of Commerce, Charest, who also leads Quebec’s Liberal Party, said his vision is to use hydroelectric development as a tool to create wealth in all areas of Quebec.

�With the launching of projects adding up to 4,500 MW during the next five years, Quebec will have energy necessary to meet its industrial needs and to exploit market opportunities outside Quebec,� Charest said. �We will thus create wealth and employment in all areas of Quebec, with a perspective of sustainable development.�

The C$8.5 billion (US$7.25 billion) La Romaine complex is to include 260-MW Romaine 1, 610-MW Romaine 2, 380-MW Romaine 3, and 250-MW Romaine 4 on the Romaine River in Quebec’s Basse-Cote-Nord Region. The investment includes C$7 billion (US$5.97 billion) for the power stations and C$1.5 billion (US$1.28 billion) for transmission lines to connect them to the Hydro-Quebec grid.

A statement issued by the Liberal Party said the project would be launched after consultation with local populations and native groups. Work could begin in 2009, with completion in 2012 and 2013.

Party envisions 4,500 MW of new hydro in five years

The party statement said, during Charest’s first term it promoted major hydro developments including 62-MW Chute Allard, 76-MW Rapide-des-Coeurs (HNN 1/8/07) , 385-MW Peribonka (HNN 3/22/06), and the 768-MW Eastmain 1A and Rupert Diversion and its associated 120-MW Sarcelle project. (HNN 1/15/07)

The statement said the 2006-2015 energy strategy adopted last year envisages implementing 4,500 MW of new projects in the next five years, representing an investment of C$25 billion (US$21.3 billion) and 70,000 jobs in all areas of Quebec. It said the La Romaine complex is the first 1,500 MW of those projects.

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