Grassoots activists achieved a major victory with the announcement that the ill-advised and much-despised Georgia Straight crossing gas pipline (GSX) has finally been rejected.

While the decision today to cancel the GSX Pipeline was made because the project was uneconomic, the real reason is that communities organized themselves and said NO.

Exposing the realities of the project – the delays, mounting costs, and emerging evidence that the project was ill-conceived and not matched to actual need for gas or electricity on Vancouver Island – these are what killed GSX.

Credit goes to the good folks in the GSX Concerned Citizens Coalition for bringing passion, dedication and intelligence to this struggle.

Vancouver Island is still targeted for more gas-fired generation, if the BC Utilities Commission approves BC Hydro’s application for an Electricity Purchase Agreement with Duke Point Power. The gas to the Duke Point project will come by way of the existing Terasen pipeline to Vancouver Island, rather than GSX.

Here is BC Hydro’s news release:

December 20, 2004

Proposed GSX Pipeline Project Cancelled

Other Options More Cost Effective at Ensuring Reliable Supply for Vancouver Island

PROVINCE-WIDE –BC Hydro and Williams have today announced the cancellation of the Georgia Strait Crossing (GSX) pipeline project. The $340 million natural gas pipeline had been proposed by the two companies in 2000 as the best way to meet the demand for gas transportation along its United States route and to natural-gas fired electricity generation facilities on Vancouver Island.

“A large capacity pipeline like GSX is no longer a competitive supply option because the large gas supply requirements it was designed to meet have not materialised,” said Dawn Farrell, Executive Vice President, Generation. “There are other lower cost alternatives to meet these gas requirements which, together with the fuel switching capability now available at the Island Cogeneration Plant (ICP) in Campbell River, means there can be enough reliable natural gas supply on the Island to meet required demands without GSX.”

“Cancelling the project now will stop all further expenditures on the project and also eliminate it as an issue in ongoing regulatory processes relating to Terasen and the Duke Point Power Project.”

In April 1998, BC Hydro sought private sector proposals to help it meet the natural gas requirements for ICP, a proposed natural gas fired (then to be situated in Port Alberni) and a possible third facility somewhere else on Vancouver Island. BC Gas (now Terasen), Centra/ West Energy and Williams Gas Pipelines submitted proposals. Williams’ proposal was deemed the most cost effective at that time.

“Our goal now remains the same as it was when we starting looking at GSX — to ensure the lowest cost, most reliable electricity for our customers on Vancouver Island,” added Farrell. “There are a range of lower cost alternatives to GSX, including a number with Terasen. These will ensure that on-Island electricity generating facilities — including the proposed Duke Power Project in Nanaimo– have enough natural gas supply to maintain their firm reliable supply of electricity for our customers even during the most critical winter months.”

Stephen Bruyneel
BC Hydro
Phone: (604) 623-4344

Beverly Chipman
Phone: (801) 584-7048

BC Hydro news release