Tran­sCanada pre­pares to start lay­ing Key­stone pipe in south­east Alta. as it awaits U.S. court rul­ings

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Southeast Alta. - SOUTH­ERN AL­BERTA NEWS­PA­PERS

Tran­sCanada pipe­lines is pre­par­ing to lay pipe — Key­stone XL pipe that’s been stock­piled over the past 8 years — early in the new year if fi­nal ap­proval of the United States route comes through.

Com­pany rep­re­sen­ta­tives told coun­cil mem­bers of Cy­press County where a por­tion of the line would be built, the Cana­dian por­tion was ap­proved in 2010, and lo­cal en­thu­si­asm for the project is very high.

Work now is fo­cused on se­lect­ing a main con­trac­tor, in­spect­ing pipe and touch­ing base with lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, said com­pany spokesper­son Re­becca McEl­hoes.

“There are a num­ber of chal­lenges that we face south of the bor­der, but if we’re in that po­si­tion where we can can be­gin (in early 2019) we need to lay­ing the ground work,” said McEl­hoes.

Al­most half of the 530-kilo­me­tre Cana­dian leg is lo­cated in Al­berta, in­clud­ing a por­tion of north­ern Cy­press County, en­ter­ing Saskatchew­an near Burstall at McNiel Al­berta.

Coun­cil also heard that at the same time the com­pany is gear­ing up to build the ma­jor ex­port line, it is also plan­ning to aban­don the 64-kilo­me­tre Etzikom Lat­eral in por­tions of both Cy­press County and the County of Forty Mile. As well, it will ap­ply as well to the Na­tional En­ergy board this fall to close in the AECO “I” Con­nec­tion to the gas sys­tem on the western edge of CFB Suffield.

The Key­stone XL ex­pan­sion could be rolling soon af­ter court chal­lenges in Mon­tana and South Dakota are con­cluded.

The com­pany could name a prime con­trac­tor in early 2019, said McEl­hoes.

Pipe has been stock­piled in Mon­i­tor, Oyen, Bind­loss as well as Pi­apot and Shau­navon in Saskatchew­an, and that pipe is be­ing in­spected cur­rently. Earth­works at sev­eral of seven com­pres­sor sites along the route has be­gun, said McEl­hoes.

The aban­don­ments in the Etzikom and Maleb lines were also dis­cussed.

Ru­ral gas co-ops in that area, which take gas off the line, were told of plans in early 2017, and have been ar­rang­ing al­ter­nate sup­ply, said TCPL spokesper­son Cole Thom­son.

“It re­flects the chang­ing mar­kets and where (pe­tro­leum) is now pro­duced, said Thom­son. “We’re build­ing a lot, but also tak­ing a lot of pipe­lines out of ser­vice in south­ern Al­berta.”

Etzikom Lat­eral con­sists of a 64kilo­me­tre, 10-inch line, the com­pany says is no longer be­ing sup­plied with suf­fi­cient gas from pro­duc­ers. Ad­di­tion­ally, a por­tion stretch­ing 21 km to Maleb, will also be of­fi­cially aban­doned. It’s ser­vice was of­fi­cially dis­con­tin­ued in 1998.

The county taxes on the smaller lines ac­counted for about $30,000 of Tran­sCanada’s an­nual tax bill of $2 mil­lion to Cy­press County.

The ad­di­tion of Key­stone XL in­fra­struc­ture would add $60,000 to the com­pany’s tax bill.

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