Leaving no stone unturned. When we announced the Energy East Pipeline project two years ago, we pledged to consult all parties that could be potentially impacted by the project, and we have stayed true to our word.
Today, we are pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with three of the largest natural gas local distribution companies (LDCs) in Ontario and Quebec — Gaz Metro Limited Partnership, Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. and Union Gas Limited — to ensure TransCanada can provide Eastern Canada with the natural gas that consumers need.
The agreement essentially resolves outstanding issues these LDCs had related to the Energy East Pipeline project regarding natural gas transmission capacity and transmission costs.
“We have heard the LDCs’ concerns and worked with them to address issues in a way that best met our collective objectives,” said Russ Girling, TransCanada’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Most importantly, this agreement will benefit consumers with the safe, efficient and more affordable delivery of North American produced oil and natural gas to fuel their everyday lives.”
So what were these concerns?
Approximately 3,000 kilometres of the TransCanada’s Canadian Mainline pipeline network will be converted from natural gas to crude oil service between Alberta and Quebec, in order to make better use of uncontracted pipeline capacity while creating a critically-needed connection between Western Canada’s oil patch and Eastern Canada’s oil needs.
We’ve maintained that re-purposing a portion of the Canadian Mainline for Energy East will make the system more efficient and reduce natural gas transportation costs to our customers.
When the Energy East project was first proposed, we made assurances in writing to the Ontario and Quebec governments and the LDCs we serve in those provinces that there would continue to be sufficient capacity for customers in the East to continue to heat their homes and run their businesses.
We have also said that the cost of transporting natural gas in our pipelines would not go up as a result of Energy East. We listened to the questions and concerns that were raised by the LDCs and governments, and worked with them to address their issues and honour our commitments.
To do this, we are planning to build new natural gas pipelines where they are needed most — in the Toronto-to-Montréal corridor. Our proposed Eastern Mainline Project will add new natural gas pipeline capacity in this area as it is where demand is strongest and because it will provide greater access to the affordable new gas supplies from the northeastern United States.
Making better use of our existing facilities is important to us, our customers and all Canadians through the delivery of safe, efficient and more affordable supplies of the energy they need to drive their car and heat their home. Reaching this agreement with the LDCs in Ontario and Quebec allows us to do just that.