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    Canada approves latest NGTL expansion plan

Summary

COVID-19 restrictions delayed federal government's review of the project

by: Dale Lunan

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Canada approves latest NGTL expansion plan

The Canadian government on June 18 approved the Nova Gas Transmission Limited (NGTL) Edson Mainline Expansion project, seven months after the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) recommended approval of the C$509mn (US$408mn) project.

The expansion will add about 85 km of new pipeline loop on two sections of NGTL’s system in Alberta. It will enhance the ability of producers in the Peace River Project Area, in the northwestern part of the province, to reach growing markets in central and southern Alberta, largely in the gas-fired power generation sector as the province moves away from coal-fired electricity.

The CER’s recommendation to approve the project in November 2020 started the clock ticking on a mandated 90-day period for the federal cabinet to review the recommendation and either approve or deny the project. Citing COVID-19 restrictions which made consultations with indigenous groups difficult, the original deadline was extended.

In its recommendation, the CER included 24 conditions related to matters impacting indigenous communities, construction activities, safety measures and standards and environmental monitoring.

After consultations on “concerns raised by indigenous groups” the government added a 25th condition requiring NGTL and its parent, TC Energy, to provide funding to indigenous groups to support their active participation in the ongoing regulatory process and to report on its engagement with indigenous groups.

According to a project timeline on TC Energy’s website, project construction is expected to begin in the third quarter this year, with the new facilities anticipated to be placed into service in Q4 2022.