Darlington nuke station refurbishment would boost Ont. GDP by $14.9B
Project would support the creation of 8,000 jobs in the province, and boost wages and government revenues, report says.
OTTAWA — Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) refurbishment of its Darlington Nuclear Generating Station is expected to boost Ontario’s nominal gross domestic product (GDP) by a total of $14.9 billion from 2010 to 2026 and boost employment by up to 8,000 jobs, according to a Conference Board of Canada report.
The Darlington station has capacity to provide about 20% of Ontario’s electricity needs and has been in operation since the early 1990s. The station is approaching the mid-point of its operating life and OPG is overseeing a $12.8-billion refurbishment project.
The report calculates the impact associated with the refurbishment investment on Ontario’s economy from 2010 to 2026.
“With approximately 96% of the project’s expenditures taking place in Ontario, the refurbishment of the Darlington station would support a significant number of jobs and economic activity in Ontario in a wide range of sectors, including electric power engineering, construction, manufacturing, transportation, and financial and insurances services,” said Pedro Antunes, the Conference Board’s deputy chief economist.
The analysis finds that every dollar invested in the refurbishment is expected to increase Ontario’s GDP by $1.3 due to the project’s low import content and heavy reliance on Ontario-based contractors. The refurbishment is also estimated to increase employment in Ontario by an average of 8,800 jobs from 2010 to 2026.
The impact on jobs is expected to peak at roughly 11,800 from 2014 to 2023.
Increased employment and economic activity translate into increased household income and business profit. The Conference Board said the project is expected to boost salaries and wages in Ontario by a total of $8.1 billion from 2010 to 2026.
The project would also raise pre-tax corporate profits by $2.8 billion. The higher wages and salaries will, in turn, support more household spending, which is expected to rise by an average of $439 million per year.
Over the project’s duration, federal, provincial, and municipal governments’ tax revenues are boosted by a total of $5.4 billion.
Of that total, $1.9 billion accrues to the federal government, $3.1 billion to the Ontario government (including interest payments made by OPG to the Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation), and $407 million to local municipalities.