Despite the cancellation of the Pacific NorthWest LNG’s project on Lelu Island, the TransCanada Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project is still alive.
The B.C. Environmental Assessment Office has approved an amendment to alter the project description to increase its footprint by 53 hectares and increase the number of construction workers by 200 by adding two more work camps and eight additional compressor units.
The approval document is dated Dec. 20, 2017 for a pipeline project that was geared to service Petronas’ liquefied natural gas project before it was cancelled on July 25.
Following Petronas’ announcement to end its project, TransCanada stated on its website that it would review the options related to the proposed pipeline project “as we continue to focus on our significant investments in new and existing natural gas infrastructure to meet our customers’ needs.”
The specifics on how the pipeline will be used are still not known. Unfavourable market conditions ended Petronas’ ambition in Prince Rupert as well as other LNG projects in the area. Shell pulled its LNG project on Ridley Island in March, Nexen withdrew from its Digby Island LNG project in September and ExxonMobil-led WCC LNG closed its community office in December. But with this recent provincial amendment it is clear the pipeline project is still active.
In the amendment document, the environmental assessment office stated they consulted with Lax Kw’alaams Band, Metlakatla First Nation, Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs, Gitxsan Nation, Kitsumkalum First Nation, Nak’azdli Band, Takla Lake First Nation and Tl’azt’en Nation.
“Lax Kw’alaams Band and Metlakatla First Nation raised questions about the potential impact of the additional camps on local infrastructure and services,” the document states. However, the actual location of the camps are still unknown. TransCanada said it would aim to reduce impacts on local infrastructure.
The 780 kilometres of land-based pipeline and 120 kilometres of marine-based pipeline would end at Lelu Island, near Port Edward.
The project received approvals in January 2017 from the B.C. government after the National Energy Board approved the northeastern pipeline with 45 conditions in April 2015.