National Energy Board amends the original certificate for the North Montney Mainline Project, a 300km pipeline in northeastern B.C. (Flickr photo)

Northeastern pipeline approved to go ahead without Pacific NorthWest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4 billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

National Energy Board is amending its original certificate for the North Montney Mainline Project — a pipeline that was once reliant on Petronas’s final investment decision to build the Pacific NorthWest LNG project on the North Coast.

Nova Gas Transmission Ltd., a subsidiary of TransCanada Corp., stated to the NEB that its $1.4 billion North Montney project is needed independent of LNG demand.

The northeastern pipeline was approved by the NEB in April 2015, but there were several delays in Petronas’s decision. In March 2017, Nova Gas filed a request with the NEB to amend its certificate for the pipeline and allow them to proceed with construction without depending on any final investment decision related to the LNG industry.

READ MORE: Provincially approved LNG pipeline project faces legal hurdle

Nearly 10 months before the NEB made its decision to make the amendment, Petronas pulled the plug on its Pacific NorthWest LNG project. Regardless of the cancelled project, NEB has approved the construction to go ahead with the 300-kilometre-long, 42-inch diameter pipeline will deliver gas from northern B.C. to the south.

“We are pleased with the NEB’s decision on the North Montney Mainline Project. These facilities are critical to the timely and economic development of the tremendous natural gas resource in the North Montney play,” said Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and chief executive officer in the press release.

The mainline project is based in Peach River Regional District. It would have linked up with the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project, a 900-kilometre pipeline proposed to feed the Pacific NorthWest LNG export terminal on Lelu Island, near Port Edward. Since the project was cancelled, TransCanada said it is continuing to evaluate alternatives for the project.

Despite the terminated LNG project, Nova Gas stated it has signed agreements with 11 customers who want its service starting April 2019. According to the NEB decision document, the 20-year contracts represent a total volume of 42 m3.

Public hearings with oral cross-examination and final arguments were held in Calgary and Dawson Creek, B.C. NEB said in its press release that the board also heard oral traditional evidence from Indigenous participants. Nova Gas also stated it notified 15 Aboriginal groups who may be affected by the project.

READ MORE: LNG pipeline for Prince Rupert still active

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