TransCanada’s innovative Energy East Pipeline Project crossed a key milestone today, with the filing of the offical Project Description with the National Energy Board (NEB) of Canada. The filing is the first step in the formal regulatory process for TransCanada to receive the necessary approvals to build and operate the $12-billion project that will allow Eastern Canadian markets to access a less expensive and more stable supply of crude oil from Western Canada.
The Energy East Project Description provides important information that supports the environmental assessment of the project by the NEB under the NEB Act and Canadian Environmental Assessement Agency Act of 2012. It provides preliminary details about the project in advance of the full project application that is expected to be filed in the coming months. The document of more than 100 pages provides details about the project’s scope, activities and processes based on extensive engineering assessments, environmental studies and stakeholder and Aboriginal engagement gathered over the past year to help provide input into the design and planning of the project. The Energy East Pipeline Project Description is also available for public review on the NEB’s website.
“The Project Description is the result of extensive field work and consultation we have conducted across the country since early 2013,” says John Van Der Put, TransCanada’s vice president of eastern oil pipeline projects. “We are engaging with close to 500 communities, 155 First Nation and Metis communities and organizations and more than 5,500 landowners in six provinces to answer questions about the project,” Van Der Put says. “We are committed to ensuring all of our stakeholders receive the facts and information they require and are using their feedback to design a project that addresses their questions and concerns.”
TransCanada held over 60 public open houses and participated in hundreds of meetings in 2013 to provide project information and discuss important topics, such as water safety, pipeline integrity, economic benefits and environmental protection. Important input from these events has enabled TransCanada to narrow its selection to the preliminary pipeline route described in the document. TransCanada plans to hold more events in 2014 to address questions and gather feedback for the continued planning of Energy East.
The Energy East Pipeline Project involves converting approximately 3,000 kilometres of existing natural gas pipe in our Canadian Mainline between the Alberta/Saskatchewan border to Cornwall, Ont., and the remaining 1,600 km will be new construction mainly in Québec and New Brunswick. Associated facilities will include pumping stations in each province and four new oil storage terminals, one each in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Québec and New Brunswick. The terminals in Québec and New Brunswick will include facilities for marine tanker loading. Energy East is anticipated to be in service in early 2018 for deliveries in Québec and late 2018 for deliveries to New Brunswick.
An independent economic analysis of Energy East conducted by Deloitte found that the project will generate $35 billion in additional gross domestic product (GDP) for Canada during development and construction, and more than 40 years of operation. The project is expected to support more than 10,000 full-time jobs during development and construction of the pipeline between 2013 and 2018, with another 1,000 full-time jobs directly supported once the pipeline begins service. It is also expected to generate an additional $10 billion in provincial tax revenues over the life of the project.
The Ontario government plans to hold a public review process on the Energy East project to better understand the project and its impacts and gather feedback.
Also, in order to ensure that Quebecers have every opportunity to obtain information and provide their feedback on the Energy East Project in Québec, TransCanada intends to request that the Minister responsible for the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs (MDDEFP) mandate the Bureau des audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) to conduct public hearings to address the oil storage facilities, the marine terminal, as well as the pipeline and other facilities for the Energy East Pipeline Project that will be constructed in Québec.
Furthermore, TransCanada is voluntarily engaging the Commission de protection du territoire agricole du Québec (CPTAQ) process which will examine the use of agricultural land in Québec for the proposed pipeline and pump station facilities to allow Quebecers to comment and obtain information on the project.
“We recognize that there are many stakeholders that have an interest in this project and welcome any opportunity to get the facts out about our project to anyone wanting to learn more about Energy East,” Van Der Put says. “We have been building and operating pipelines across Canada for more than 60 years and we take our responsibility to provide safe and reliable facilities to meet the needs of all Canadians very seriously.”