IN the race to build natural gas pipelines to the coast, one company now has an official name for its entrant.
Called the Westcoast Connector, Spectra Energy’s pipeline will stretch 860 kilometres from northeastern B.C. to a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) cooling facility near Prince Rupert owned by multi-national BG Group, the company’s Canadian division president told a Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce luncheon here Sept. 17.
“We often speak of the race between different countries, but the same applies to within Canada,” Bloom said of the major projects proposed for the northwest. “We’re just trying to make sure that we keep that sense of urgency as we work our way through it.”
The pipeline entered the pre-application stage for the provincial environmental assessment in November 2012 and Spectra plans to submit its official application early next year, after which a 180-day review will commence followed by a final investment decision.
Spectra has 200 workers doing the preliminary geotechnical, archaeological and negotiating work, and Bloom said the company employs 850 workers in B.C. and 3,500 total in the country.
Spectra is one of two companies with Prince Rupert-area pipeline plans – Trans Canada Pipelines wants to build a 750 kilometre project from northeastern B.C. to Lelu Island near Port Edward where Progress Energy, owned by Petronas from Malaysia, wants to build its own LNG plant.
Trans Canada entered its pre-application for an environmental review in June, and also has plans to ask for environmental approval next year.
When the natural gas minister Rich Coleman gave a presentation in Terrace this month he said that during the environmental review each project will be considered cumulatively, taking into account the impacts of the ones that applied before them, a process he referred to as “stacking”.
Bloom told members of the Terrace business community about the successes and challenges he has faced so far trying to get the multi-billion dollar project into the ground.
While he said BG Group and Spectra have the money to build the project on the North American end, they are still lining up customers.