$230 Million Rural Ontario Natural Gas Economic Development Program

Turn on the gas: New $200 million Natural Gas Access Loan and $30 million Natural Gas Economic Development Grant

Turning on the Natural Gas in Rural & Remote Ontario!

New $200 million Natural Gas Access Loan and $30 million Natural Gas Economic Development Grant

In the summer of 2014, Ontario's Premier Wynne announced a series of mandates for her ministers, including a set of mandates for low cost natural gas.  Now with the recent Ontario budget, the announcements are rolling out.

Ontario has now announced a new program that combines a $200 million Natural Gas Access Loan with a $30 million Natural Gas Economic Development Grant.  Both initiatives are targeted to rural Ontario natural gas access - for areas of the province that are not currently served with increasingly low cost natural gas, especially rural and remote areas and agri-business.

Ontario says the program is designed to expand the spread of natural gas and  natural gas pipelines in rural Ontario, attract new industry, make commercial transportation and agriculture more affordable, help to create jobs, provide more energy choices and lower electricity prices for businesses and consumers of rural ontario natural gas.

Ontario's new program now adds to the Federal government's new "accelerated capital cost allowance" tax support for Liquid Natural Gas or LNG facilities creating remarkably strong incentives for new LNG facilities at various Ontario locations. Already there are two such LNG projects moving forward:

With the Ontario program added to the Federal tax relief program for LNG, expect significant commercial and community interest in rural/remote natural gas and LNG facilities.  Indeed, more LNG facilities are likely to emerge in northern Ontario, and elsewhere, to extend natural gas access to more remote underserved areas and First Nations, and deliver natural gas for mining applications, power generation and long-haul trucking businesses. Expect to also see the emergence of LNG “peak shaving” facilities, close to major markets that store LNG in periods of low demand (like summer months) and then regasify it in periods of high demand.

What does all this mean?  We expect to see five Ontario natural gas new developments (get further details in our companion post - Five Game-Changing Ontario Natural Gas Innovations on the Horizon):

1) Expansion of natural gas pipeline grids into rural/remote areas and Aboriginal communities, including First Nation natural gas projects for reserve communities through Aboriginal and industry partnerships
2) New liquid natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) facilities for storage, regional transportation and truck/fleet refueling
3) Innovative approaches to community and industrial natural gas access, including "Virtual Pipelines" that are successfully operating in New England and Australia 
4) New efforts to inject renewable natural gas - "biomethane" or "green gas" into the natural gas grid or into LNG facilities, to help displace rapidly increasing imports of fossil fuel natural gas in the form of "fracked" shale gas from the U.S., with Ontario biomethane derived "renewable natural gas".
5) New efforts to effectively manage methane emissions - especially "fugitive emissions" from natural gas and LNG infrastructure and distribution systems

We discuss these in more detail in a related post: Five Game-Changing Ontario Natural Gas Innovations on the Horizon.

We are On a Mission to Help You "Get Gas"

In January 2015 we began a focused effort to help our clients and others learn more about the reshaping of natural gas infrastructure, supply, applications and innovations in Ontario, and the environmental impacts that need to be managed in Ontario from pipeline expansions and methane emissions which can be a serious source of damaging greenhouse gas.  We are on a mission to help people understand or "Get Gas" and make informed choices about how new low cost sources of natural gas, with new environmental implications, may impact their lives.  We now share relevant news, project updates and regulatory matters related to innovations in Ontario natural gas use and Ontario green gas via blog posts and through a dedicated LinkedIn Group: Natural Gas Innovation for Ontario.  We have been steadily reporting on topics such as:

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