FortisBC assessing Sicamous for extension of gas line

Competitive edge: Natural gas could benefit local economy by helping attract new industry.

Unless you’re a propane dealer, the prospect of making natural gas accessible to Sicamous residents and businesses holds little downside.

FortisBC has begun looking at what it can do to bring its infrastructure into the District of Sicamous.

FortisBC spokesperson Neal Pobran says the company is in the early stages of determining whether the delivery of natural gas to the district is feasible.

“What we’re looking at right now is some analysis, and that includes determining the cost of the project, what a possible route may look like and the engineering requirements for delivering natural gas,” says Pobran.

Many in Sicamous, businesses and residents, currently rely on propane for heating. Natural gas is considered one of the cleanest burning fossil fuels, and is typically less expensive for heating purposes than propane.

Mayor Darrell Trouton and district interim administrator Doug Ruttan met with the FortisBC reps when they were last in town. Ruttan says one of the first, obvious benefits of bringing natural gas to Sicamous would be the savings to residents. But Ruttan and the mayor also see the availability of natural gas as giving the community a needed edge in attracting new business. Coun. Greg Kyllo agrees. The Twin Anchors co-owner says the addition of gas would be beneficial to the company’s new industrial park.

“We heat our main plant with wood-fired boilers, so I don’t know that I would actually do a conversion,” says Kyllo. “It certainly would be valuable for the industrial park. We did look at putting a powder coating line in about five years ago, but just the cost of dealing with the propane made it cost-prohibitive.

“There certainly are a lot of industries that do require gas. I think it would be definitely a benefit to the community.”

However, Trouton, Ruttan and Kyllo also agree that extending natural gas to the Malakwa industrial corridor along the Trans-Canada Highway would have the greatest economic impact for the region.

“They’ve got good infrastructure there with service roads on both sides of the highway, and I think the reason why there’s been limited development of industrial companies and that sort of thing in that area is likely because of the lack of gas,” says Kyllo. “I think having gas would certainly be a huge benefit for that corridor, which obviously would help to bring industry to this region.”

Trouton notes the district has looked at bringing gas to the community in the past but found it wasn’t feasible. He looks forward to seeing FortisBC’s conclusion this time around, noting it would make Sicamous more attractive to investment.

“If you have natural gas, it’s usually a better way to heat buildings, a better way to fuel your business. It’s difficult to compete with other areas that have cheaper sources of fuel,” says Trouton.


Just Posted

South Shuswap residents kick waste collection concept to the curb

Area C residents prefer existing depot system, suggest more enforcement

Plaques provide historical view of Salmon Arm landmarks

City heritage plaques added to Fletcher Park, Mount Ida Cemetery and Fairgrounds

In photos: Parade kicks off Girls Only Soccer Camp World Cup fun tournament

Players split into 11 countries for music and dance-filled parade, followed by tourney

Summerland Fall Fair to include zucchini race

Event is in honour of bobsleigh athlete Justin Kripps

Province attempting to ease concerns over caribou management

CSRD receives letter promising more consultation while chambers of commerce meet with minister

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry supply

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Okanagan resident’s alleged stolen dog found safe

Nicholas Bozak thanks the public for finding his 17 month old mastiff chow

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Survivorship Dragon Boat Team wins in Vernon

Team takes top spot in A division at festival

Kelowna car thief’s sentencing delayed

Stanley Nickason pled guilty car theft charges in B.C. Supreme Court

Development gives Kelowna community garden the boot

Glen Valley residents given a few days to break it down before land development

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

RDOS contributes funds to arts centre workshop

South Okanagan Performing Arts Centre Society wants input into proposed facility

World-famous sopranos to hold concert in Okanagan

Two Canadian sopranos are bringing their world-famous voices to the Okanagan for one night only

Most Read