If negotiations go the way Heritage Gas and local politicians hope, Michelin Tire could be the first user of Nova Scotia’s natural gas in Pictou County.
That would be welcome news for Pictou West MLA Charlie Parker, who also serves as Natural Resources minister.
He said Heritage Gas, which distributes natural gas in the province, has been talking to numerous commercial businesses in Pictou County including Michelin with the hopes of either running lines to them from the mainline that passes through Pictou County or trucking it as permitted by legislation passed by the province.
“We’re very hopeful that there will be some way found that will allow for natural gas to be used here by our industries,” Parker said.
To run a line from the main natural gas line to the Michelin plant in Granton would only be 18 kilometres, Parker said. Other businesses would also be close such as Nova Scotia Power and Northern Pulp and DSTN.
“It’s within a reasonable distance here,” he said. “It’s just a matter of companies working together to see what’s feasible.”
He could offer no timeline on when Michelin or any other business would be connected if a deal could be reached.
“There’s been ongoing discussions with a number of potential customers,” he said. “I can’t say where things are at, but I know they’re talking to each other.”
But getting industry on board for natural gas is the first step to creating a situation where there can be widespread use, he said.
“It’s a great way to provide a clean green energy source and at a competitive cost,” he said. “We’re doing everything we can to encourage usage.”