TransCanada Corp. announced that it has received final permits from the BC Oil and Gas Commission (BCOGC), giving regulatory approval for the construction and operation of the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline project (PRGT).
"Receiving the full complement of 11 pipeline and facility permits is a major milestone for the project, and concludes an exhaustive regulatory process that we embarked on more than two years ago," said Tony Palmer, PRGT president. "Along with the BC Environmental Assessment Certificate received last November, the BCOGC permitting process was the last major regulatory step for PRGT. At the same time, we continue to work towards securing more project agreements with First Nations, which provide significant financial benefits while addressing cultural and environmental interests."
The BCOGC permits cover the entire 900km route from just north of Hudson's Hope, B.C. to Lelu Island, off the coast of Port Edward, near Prince Rupert. As well, the permits approve construction of three compressor stations and a meter station where the gas is to be delivered to the Pacific NorthWest (PNW) LNG facility. The PRGT project - approximately 780km of land pipeline and 110km of marine pipeline - will connect the natural gas production in the Montney fields of northeastern BC with the proposed PNW LNG liquefaction facility on Lelu Island.
In order for PRGT to proceed with construction, PNW LNG must receive a positive decision from the federal government under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. Once approval is received, and PNW LNG has confirmed its decision to proceed with the project, PRGT will begin site preparation for camp locations and right-of-way clearing, with commencement of pipeline construction activities shortly thereafter.
The BCOGC pipeline permits include approximately 70 conditions, which will govern implementation of the project, related to: notification and reporting, environment, heritage conservation, First Nations, land clearing, wildlife, marine life and sensitive benthic (ocean floor) habitat, terrain stability, stream crossings, and engineering.
The PRGT project will provide significant economic benefits for British Columbians, local and provincial governments and Aboriginal communities as it supports the export of surplus natural gas to global markets, including:
• Thousands of short-term jobs directed at BC residents;
• Opportunities for local and Aboriginal businesses;
• Millions of dollars in annual taxes to help support local services such as schools, policing, fire protection, and waste management;
• Billions of dollars in new investments for the province.
TransCanada is advancing the development of approximately US$13 billion in natural gas projects in BC which will generate significant construction spending in the province plus taxation, jobs and other benefits.