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2 minutes read

Enbridge Plans Expansion of Westcoast Pipeline in B.C. to Address Increasing Gas Demand

Enbridge Inc., a major player in North American pipeline infrastructure, has proposed an expansion of the Westcoast Pipeline in British Columbia to meet the increasing natural gas demand in the province and the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

The Sunrise Expansion Program aims to enhance the southern section of the pipeline, known as Transmission-South, as stated by Aaron Mannella, a senior advisor with Enbridge.

The project involves theT addition of 137 kilometers of looping pipeline with a 42-inch diameter, which will increase the natural gas transportation capacity by 300 million cubic feet per day.

“We began by gauging natural gas demand through an open season process with potential shippers,” Mannella explained.

The Westcoast Pipeline has been operational for 70 years, providing natural gas for heating homes and businesses, powering hospitals and schools, and generating electricity.

“The original pipeline was a 30-inch diameter line installed in the 1950s, with a 36-inch diameter line added in the 1970s,” Mannella noted.

Regulated by the Canada Energy Regulator (CER), the Westcoast system is an interprovincial pipeline. Enbridge submitted its application for the project to the CER on May 30, 2024, with construction expected to commence in 2026 and conclude by the end of 2028.

Westcoast Energy Inc., an Enbridge subsidiary, owns and operates the Westcoast/BC Pipeline system, a major natural gas transmission network spanning over 2,900 kilometers from Fort Nelson and Gordondale (near the Alberta border) to the Canada-U.S. border and Huntington/Sumas.

“We’re proud of our nearly 70-year history operating in British Columbia and recognize the vital role the gas we transport plays in our society,” Mannella stated.

To minimize the project’s impact on local communities, Enbridge will implement a socio-economic management plan, recognizing the presence of Indigenous groups in the area, Mannella added.

The construction will require about 10 acres of land for temporary lodging and parking, accommodating up to 120 workers. Enbridge will prioritize workplace health and safety training, human rights protection, and human trafficking prevention awareness throughout the project, Mannella said.

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