The National Energy Board (NEB or Board) has released its recommendations and decisions Report regarding an application by NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) for the North Montney Mainline Project (the Project).
The project includes the construction and operation of new facilities and a 301 km sweet natural gas pipeline, 1066.8 mm (42 in.) in diameter, connecting NGTL’s Groundbirch Mainline to the North Montney area in northeastern British Columbia. It would also connect to the proposed Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Pipeline and then to a future liquid natural gas plant on the west coast which will supply global liquefied natural gas markets.
This project is pending Governor in Council (GIC) approval. The majority of the Board recommends to the GIC that a Certificate be issued to construct and operate the pipeline.
In the event the GIC directs the board to issue a certificate, Appendix II of the board’s report provides all the terms and conditions that the board considers necessary. The 45 conditions contain a wide variety of subjects including pipeline integrity, the protection of the environment, and matters of public and Aboriginal consultation.
The majority of the board is of the view that with the Board’s imposed conditions, and with the implementation of NGTL’s environmental protection procedures and mitigation, the Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. The majority of the board also granted NGTL’s request to build temporary infrastructure for the project under section 58 of the NEB Act.
One member of the panel was not of the view that the entire project should proceed, as a portion of the proposed pipeline and associated facility would traverse land that is of special significance to First Nations.
The board has approved the applied-for rolled-in tolling design during a transition period, on conditions. The conditions include a requirement for NGTL to maintain a separate cost pool and separate accounting records for the project. When North Montney gas production is first delivered at the Mackie Creek Interconnection, proposed to come into service in approximately 2019, NGTL will have the option of applying to the Board for a revised tolling methodology or will have the option of implementing stand-alone tolling on the project.
Adapted from press release by Hannah Priestley-Eaton