TransCanada Corp. received the last two of 10 pipeline and facilities permits required from the BC Oil and Gas Commission for the Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project. The project now has approval for construction and operation of the proposed pipeline and related facilities.
“This is a significant regulatory milestone for our project, which is a key component of TransCanada’s growth plan that includes more than $13 billion in proposed natural gas pipeline projects which support the emerging liquefied natural gas industry on the British Columbia Coast,” said Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and CEO in a May 5 press release.
“Acquiring these 10 permits demonstrates our commitment in developing this project to the highest standards of environmental protection while delivering benefits to British Columbians and Canadians for decades to come,” added Girling.
Eight of the permits are related to pipeline construction, while two are for pipeline-related facilities: a natural gas compressor station and meter station in Groundbirch, and a natural gas metering station in Kitimat. Coastal GasLink received an Environmental Assessment Certificate from the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office in October 2014.
The pipeline will connect to the proposed LNG Canada natural gas liquefaction and export facility near Kitimat. A Final Investment Decision by our pipeline customers, the joint venture partners of LNG Canada, is expected in late 2016. If the LNG Canada partners elect to proceed with their project at that time, pipeline construction would begin in 2017.
Each of the OGC permits related to pipeline and facilities construction includes up to 70 conditions, which will govern implementation of the project related to:
- Ongoing reporting to the regulator
- Notification of affected parties during construction
- First Nations engagement
- Heritage conservation
- Stream crossings
- Land clearing
- Terrain stability
To date, the Coastal GasLink team has had more than 15,000 interactions and engagements with Aboriginal communities along the proposed pipeline route. Over a third, of the more than 350,000 hours, of fieldwork on the project have been conducted by Aboriginal people.
In addition, this modern energy infrastructure project will provide long-term economic benefits for British Columbia and Canada. An estimated 32 percent of this $4.8 billion plus capital project will be spent locally in British Columbia, with economic benefits including over 2,000 jobs during construction and over $20 million in annual property tax payments. The project has already spent almost $48 million in northern British Columbia plus over $2 million in community and Aboriginal investments along the route.