Friday, November 20, 2015

Infrastructure Part II

Part I discussed the Deep water port in Iqaluit.

This part II is the second leg in infrastructure -- POWER

How will Chidliak power the construction and production of a minesite?

#1 - Diesel fuel - tried and trued, is a fossil fuel, and very expensive to ship and consume in the North. Cheaper if the deep water port get's constructed. Standard power for northern projects.

#2a - Hydro power - There have been many studies and projects undertaken to get build a hydro power plant in and around Iqaluit. This is very political and a very expensive project that has been put on the back burner many times. With an all season road from Iqaluit to Chidliak, it would make sense to put and maintain power lines to the site. This works very well if there is a hydro power plant to tap into. The government economics may work better once Chidliak has defined concrete and robust economics as Chidliak would be a steady customer of this power for a decade or more.

#2b - Hydro power from Greenland - Apparently Greenland already has 5 hydroelectric projects supplying 6 local towns. This article -- Greenland to Iqaluit shows the possibility of an underwater power cable linking greenland to Iqaluit. If an all-season road is built to Chidliak, it might make sense to route the power to the coast near Chidliak and then feed the power over road to Iqaluit. This is just another option to get Iqaluit power, but it could have significant usefulness for Chidliak as well. Here is a link to a PDF document with more details -- Greenland_2016

#3 - Alternatives

A - Solar Panels -- The Nunavut College in Iqaluit tested solar panels 20 years ago and the panels are still working at 75% capacity..which apparently is baffling to some of the scientists who work in this technology. There is a brand new test study happening in 2016 by the actual power corporation. It is using much more modern technology in this small test. The good news is that it is the power corporation doing the study, so if the results come out positively, there could be a reason to scale up and do a more enhanced pilot project.

Article on the test project -- Solar Panel Project

B - There has been an article in CIM and other magazines talking about a portable submarine that just dock at a small ocean port and the submarine generates nuclear power for where ever you put the power lines to.

C - Wind power generation - This has been engineered, tested and set up at Diavik for the last few years with success, but also major challenges. This is a fairly capital project to get going, so do you need a long term commitment to proceed with it.

Of the 3 alternatives, the one that probably has staying power for today's technology is C - Wind power. It will work in the summer and winter (not solar dependent) and is a proven technology..just not as proven at -40+ degree Celcius temperature.

The next major infrastructure hurdle for Chidliak is the road from Iqaluit to Chidliak.

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