NEB recommends approval of $1.07bn natural gas project variance in Canada


The National Energy Board (NEB) has recommended the government to approve a variance to the North Montney Mainline Project certificate that was issued earlier, to facilitate construction on the proposed CAD1.4bn ($1.07bn) natural gas project in northeast British Columbia.

TransCanada’s wholly-owned subsidiary, NOVA Gas Transmission (NGTL) is executing the project as an expansion of the NGTL System.

The project is backed by 20-year commercial contracts with 11 shippers to transport 1.5 billion ft³ (1.6 million gigajoules) of natural gas per day.

TransCanada president and CEO Russ Girling said: “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.

“Since 2011, the project has undergone thorough consultation, engagement and rigorous regulatory assessment. Through this process, we have demonstrated the importance of this critical piece of energy infrastructure to natural gas producers and downstream markets throughout Canada and the US.”

In 2015, the project was given approval, subject to conditions making construction contingent on a positive final investment decision on the then-proposed Pacific Northwest LNG liquefaction project.

In March 2017, NGTL sought approval to remove these conditions. The company restructured the commercial project arrangements and the associated facilities to accommodate a delay or, as occurred in July 2017, a cancellation of the Pacific Northwest LNG project.

The project, which consists of 206km of 42-inch pipeline, compression and associated metering facilities, will deliver nearly CAD100m ($77m) in construction contracts for indigenous businesses and workers.

Subject to federal approval, construction is expected to begin by the third quarter of 2018, with an anticipated in-service date of mid-2019.

The NEB has also provided guidance on the tolling principles and NGTL will work with its shippers to address these requirements.

The project is a major component of NGTL’s $7.2bn ($5.5bn) multi-year infrastructure expansion programme that will increase transportation capacity for Western Canada producers and provide downstream markets increased access to clean-burning natural gas.

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