Damaged turbine to remain on seabed, who’s responsible for costs?
The tides in Nova Scotia’s Minas Basin at the top of the Bay of Fundy, are among the most powerful in the world.
In the end they proved too powerful for state of the art technology.
A multi-year pilot project to harness that power using giant 5-storey turbines to convert the energy to electricity has come to an end.
- RCI-Sep 2016: More rough water for project
- RCI- Nov 2017: Harnessing the energy, damaged turbine
- RCI- Nov 2018: project fades
Over several years, the giant turbine had been damaged, and repaired until late this year the various companies involved said it had been damaged irreparably Earlier this year partner firms had announced they were pulling funding, then the parent company in Ireland filed for bankruptcy.
Now comes word that as winter is upon us, the 1,300 tonne turbine will have to remain on the seabed until at least March of next year.
As the various companies involved are under bankruptcy protection, who will remove the turbine, pay for it, and the eventual cost of doing so, all seem to be unknown at this point.
Many subcontracted companies are also owed millions of dollars in total.
There is some $750,000 financing available as a loan from the now bankrupt parent company, but the creditors argue that the money probably won’t cover the cost of recover, and that they should be paid first. The Nova Scotia environment minister has indicated there is also a security bond in case the turbine had to be retrieved, but would not say how much.
While bankruptcy proceedings continue in Ireland for the parent company, a Canadian court has granted one creditor here, owed almost $900,000, the right to sell the Canadian subsidiary’s Turbine Control Centre property.
Another creditor is seeking permission to sell the multi-million dollar purpose built barge which was used to raise and lower the turbine.
When the Nova Scotia minister was asked for assurance that taxpayers wouldn’t be on the hook for costs of retrieving the damaged turbine, he replied that he would not speculate adding “This is a private sector matter”.
CBC: E Davie: Dec 13/18: turbine stays put for now, but who will pay