MORE THAN 600 people and businesses have already signed up to an Enbridge Northern Gateway online database in anticipation of working on the planned pipeline to pump Alberta crude oil to a marine export terminal at Kitimat.
Gateway official Catherine Pennington says the database is one way of finding out the skill sets of interested individuals and determining the capability of companies located along the pipeline corridor which stretches 1,777 kilometres.
“There’s been quite a good response so far,” said Pennington of the database which went live in a soft launch the middle of last month.
“What we’re really trying to determine is if there are any gaps in skill sets [for people] and business capabilities along the corridor.”
Pennington said the database follows Enbridge’s commitments to establish community benefits arising from the planned construction of the $5.5 billion project.
Following extensive hearings, the National Energy Board last December recommended approval provided Enbridge meet 209 conditions.
The federal cabinet is expected to make a decision about the project in June.
Although the pipeline has yet to be approved, those who have signed up to the database could very well stand to benefit from what Pennington said is early fieldwork required by the NEB.
The database is meant for individuals and companies located within 80 kilometres on either side of the pipeline corridor stretching from Alberta to Kitimat.
Pennington said the database will specifically help Enbridge develop its commitment for aboriginal development.
“There is provision to self identify [as aboriginals] if they feel comfortable,” she said.
Speaking to a luncheon meeting in Terrace yesterday, Janet Holder, Enbridge Northern Gateway senior executive in charge of the project, said it had already spent $350 million on the project up to last December.
“If everything goes as well as we hope it goes, we should be able to start construction in 2015,” she said.
Holder did acknowledge that a number of court appeals have already been filed by groups opposing the project and anticipates more will be filed.