The plan by ArcelorMittal Dofasco to transition away from the use of coal and coke got its first airing in front of Hamilton City Council. Representatives of the steelmaker and Enbridge appeared to advise council that the switchover to natural gas in steelmaking will require the construction of a 12-inch gas pipeline specifically to serve the steel plant. Enbridge is proposing a line running from Rymal Road down Centennial parkway, westerly along Barton Street to Kenilworth and north on Kenilworth to the steel plant. Enbridge officials said the preferred route follows city streets where other utilities are now located and presents the least complicated option from a construction standpoint.
Some councillors wondered if the gas requirement by Dofasco could be offset by the hoped-for switch by householders to clean energy alternatives, but were told that the additional amount of gas needed for Dofasco is equal to all of Hamilton’s current residential and industrial use. Tony Valeri. Representing Dofasco told councillors the switch from coal to natural gas will reduce Dofasco’s greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent, but more importantly would contribute more than Half of the City of Hamilton’s target of reducing emissions by 50 percent by 2030. A Dofasco official told the Bay Observer that the Decarbonization project would improve GHG emission across the entire province by ten percent.
Councillor Tammy Hwang was excited about the project as she discussed future energy reductions with Tony Valeri:
Asked what would happen should council deny the pipeline permit Valeri, said the entire $1.8 Billion project would be scrapped, taking with it $900 million in federal and provincial grants.
Valeri told councillors “This switch to natural gas is the beginning, not the ending of our decarbonization program.”
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