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South-Central Saskatchewan Receives Funding for Coal Transition

CANADA, December 6 - Released on December 5, 2023

Today, Agriculture Minister David Marit announced $550,000 in funding to the Town of Coronach and the Rural Municipality of Hart Butte to support new coal-based opportunities in the region. Funding will be used to advance research into char production and utilization, in partnership with the University of Regina.

"As a result of the federal government's decision to decommission all coal power stations, the Government of Saskatchewan is committed to helping the areas of the province that will be most impacted by the closure of coal plants, and that's exactly what this funding will do," Marit said. "As Saskatchewan continues its leadership in sustainable economic development, we are encouraged to see innovative solutions brought forward by the community of Coronach and surrounding area."

Current federal regulations require all coal-fired power stations to be decommissioned after 50 years of operation, or to close by 2030, whichever comes first. This will impact three power stations, 2 mines and hundreds of jobs in southern Saskatchewan.

This funding will be provided to the Town of Coronach and RM of Hart Butte, who are members of South Saskatchewan Ready, an economic alliance of nine rural communities and municipalities in south-central Saskatchewan. South Saskatchewan Ready has identified Videre Energy's pilot project as a priority coal transition economic driver for the area.

The technology presented by Videre Energy will take lignite coal and convert it to low greenhouse gas emission products that can support the energy and agriculture sectors. 

"The Videre lignite demonstration plant represents a way forward with the potential to mitigate the negative economic impacts of the federal mandate to close the Poplar River Power Station in 2030," Coronach Mayor Calvin Martin said. 

The Government of Saskatchewan recognizes the impact this phase-out of coal-powered electricity poses to the communities in the province. Saskatchewan communities continue to be resilient and rise to the challenge, exploring innovative solutions to ensure the economy remains strong.

In February 2020 the province invested $10 million to support Estevan, Coronach and the area in their transition away from coal-based industries to other economic opportunities.

"Both the Town of Coronach and RM of Hart Butte thank the Government of Saskatchewan for their continued support as we navigate coal transition," RM of Hart Butte Reeve Craig Eger said.

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For more information, contact:

Mitchell Nagel-Zeller
Trade and Export Development
Regina
Phone: 306-530-4769
Email: mitchell.nagelzeller@gov.sk.ca