A $5 billion pipeline is going to be built between Prince Rupert and the Fort St. John area, TransCanada announced on Wednesday.
TransCanada has been selected by Progress Energy Canada to design, build, own and operate the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project. The project will bring natural gas from the North Montney gas-producing region near Fort St. John, to the recently announced Pacific Northwest LNG export facility in Port Edward near Prince Rupert, B.C.
"We're very pleased and honoured to be selected as a partner with progress," said TransCanada CEO Russ Girling. "They have the wherewithal to actually implement a project of this magnitude."
The project is expected to bring in 2,500 jobs over the project's three year life span. However, Girling said it was "too early to say" how much of these jobs would come to the Fort St. John/Dawson Creek area.
Girling also said that he was not sure about the pipeline's route.
"We have some ideas about where the pipeline's going to go, but it's premature for me to say which communities it's going to impact."
However, local business would likely see a boost from this project, as Girling expected Peace Region contractors and Aboriginal communities to participate in the project.
"These are pools of expertise that we'll have to pool together," he said. "We'll work to ensure that there's training programs so that we can develop a workforce to participate in both the construction and design of the project … they can be part of the ongoing work force that maintains and operates this pipeline for the next few decades."
Girling also said that they will consult local landowners about the pipeline's route.
The pipeline is expected to be 750 kilometres of pipeline, capable of transporting two billion cubic feet of gas per day. According to a TransCanada press release, the pipeline is expected to be in service around the end of 2018.
TransCanada’s partner, Progress, is owned by Petronas, a state-owned Malaysian energy company. The LNG export facility the line is connecting to will help meet natural gas needs in Asia.
Canada’s Natural Resources Minister, Joe Oliver, praised the move in a press release.
“"Today's announcement demonstrates the benefits of British Columbia energy pipeline projects that create jobs and economic growth," Oliver said.
This Prince Rupert pipeline is not the only project TransCanada is currently pursuing within the Peace Region. TransCanada currently has approximately 360 kilometres of pipeline in service or pending regulatory approval.
TransCanada is currently seeking approval for a 1,400 kilometre from northeast B.C. to a liquid gas facility yet to be approved in Kitimat, B.C.
Petronas, a state-owned Malaysian energy company, acquired TransCanada’s partner, Progress Energy, in 2012. The move was somewhat controversial at the time. In October 2012, Federal Industry Minister Christian Paradis said that he was “not satisfied that the proposed investment is likely to be of net benefit to Canada.”
However, in December, the acquisition was approved.
After the decision was announced, Paradis said that “Petronas has made significant commitments to Canada” about transparency, disclosure, and other factors that demonstrated it would be a net benefit to Canadians.