The Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) has recommended the federal government to approve the TransCanada’s C$1.4bn ($1bn) North Montney Mainline (NMML) Project variance.
Earlier, TransCanada subsidiary Nova Gas Transmission (NGTL) has requested a variance to allow the firm to begin construction of the majority of the NMML pipeline project, which is planned to be interconnected with the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) project to provide natural gas to the proposed C$36bn ($27.25bn) Pacific NorthWest LNG facility.
The NMML Project is supported by 20-year contracts with 11 shippers to transport approximately 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.
NEB said in a statement: “In its application, NGTL requested changes to the North Montney Mainline Certificate to allow the gas to flow east, and to proceed with certain components of the Project independently of any final investment decision related to liquefied natural gas exports from the west coast of British Columbia.”
The North Montney Mainline project will comprise approximately 206km of 42-inch pipeline, compression and associated metering facilities.
In addition to boosting the economy by creating thousands of construction jobs, the project will deliver an estimated $100m in construction contracts, the firm said.
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 United States.”
TransCanada said that the project is a part of NGTL’s $7.2bn multi-year infrastructure expansion program, which aims to increase transportation capacity for Western Canada producers and increase access to clean-burning natural gas for downstream markets.
The firm plans to commence construction of the project by the third quarter of 2018, subject to federal approval. The facilities are planned to be commissioned in phases over a two-year period starting in April 2019.