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    Canada approves NGTL North Corridor expansion

Summary

Federal approval lagged regulatory recommendation by eight months

by: Dale Lunan

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Canada approves NGTL North Corridor expansion

The Canadian government said May 4 it had approved TC Energy’s North Corridor expansion project on its Nova Gas Transmission Limited (NGTL) system in Alberta, eight months after the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) recommended its approval on September 3, 2020.

The government’s approval of North Corridor includes an additional three conditions beyond the 34 imposed by the CER, which deal mostly with safety, environmental and wildlife protection, indigenous engagement and protection of indigenous rights and interests.

Among the new conditions is a requirement that NGTL create 786 ha of land for caribou habitat – about 30 times more than will be impacted by the project. NGTL will also be required to establish an indigenous working group that will assist in the creation of the new habitat for the Red Earth and Chinchaga caribou ranges.

“We want good projects to get done, moving our natural resources to new markets and creating jobs,” Natural Resources Canada minister Seamus O’Regan said. “This means meeting our duty to meaningfully consult with potentially impacted indigenous communities and addressing risks to the environment and species at risk, particularly.”

The C$632mn (US$513mn) project, which involves about 81 km of new pipeline loop in three sections and additional compression, will create up to 1,740 jobs and add about C$425mn to Alberta’s gross domestic product. TC Energy has said in the past that assuming federal approvals by April 2021, the new facilities could be in-service by the spring of 2022.