NB Power announced last Wednesday that it will close its Grand Lake Generating Station earlier than anticipated due to a fire that occurred in the burner of the front boiler. The New Brunswick, Canada, plant was expected to close when its operating license expires in June this year.

Because the 52-MW station is at the end of its operating life and the necessary repairs would not be economically feasible, the company announced that it has been shut down earlier than expected. Clean-up activities will be taking place over the next couple of weeks to prepare for decommissioning activities.

Built in 1931, the Grand Lake Generating Station was NB Power’s first thermal plant. It was built to serve the city of Fredericton and the cotton mill in Marysville. Situated on the shores of Grand Lake, its location was perfect since it was virtually on top of its fuel supply—the Minto coalfields—and only 30 miles from its customers.

A spokesman for the utility told POWERnews that the cause of the fire, which occurred on Feb. 23, was still under investigation but was probably related to the moisture content in the coal.

Closing of the plant will not affect the utility’s ability to supply power to its customers, as it was already preparing for summer shutdown.

Sources: NB Power, POWERnews