TransCanada has cleared a major hurdle for its Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) project, which would bring natural gas from northeastern B.C. to the Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal on Lelu Island.
On Oct. 27 the company announced that it had received final permits from the BC Oil and Gas Commission, essentially providing regulatory approval for the construction and operation of the pipeline. The permit covers the entire 900 kilometres of the route — including both the marine and terrestrial pipeline — as well as the construction of three compressor stations and a meter station at the terminal itself.
“Receiving the full complement of 11 pipeline and facility permits is a major milestone for the project, and concludes an exhaustive regulatory process that we embarked on more than two years ago,” said Tony Palmer, PRGT president.
“Along with the B.C. Environmental Assessment Certificate received last November, the BCOGC permitting process was the last major regulatory step for PRGT. At the same time, we continue to work towards securing more Project Agreements with First Nations, which provide significant financial benefits while addressing cultural and environmental interests.”
While the commission issued the permits, those permits include approximately 70 conditions placed on the project related to everything from notification and reporting to First Nations and heritage conservation to terrain stability and stream crossings.
The final step before TransCanada begins construction on the pipeline is federal approval of the Pacific NorthWest LNG facility and a positive final investment decision by the company. Once those two conditions are met, TransCanada said it will begin site preparation for camp locations and right-of-way clearing, followed quickly by the start of pipeline construction.