A massive pipeline replacement project that will run through Manitoba has been given the green light by the National Energy Board.
Enbridge’s $7.5-billion undertaking will remove and replace 1,600 kilometres worth of 50-year-old pipeline. It runs from Alberta down to Wisconsin.
Enbridge spokesman Todd Nogier says it’s their biggest undertaking ever, and it will bring a lot of money into the economy.
“GDP growth as a result of the construction of this project will be $2.8-billion right across the country, and the boost to the economy of Manitoba will be $391-million,” Nogier explains. “We will be creating some 25,000 jobs across the country, taking workers from wherever they come to do the work.”
So many spots on the current line needed maintenance work done that Enbridge figured it would be more efficient to just replace the whole line.
Michael Moore with the University of Alberta says the line is important to both Canada and the US.
“Very important to keep that supply going and maintain our current flow relationships with the US. It does allow us to continue to supply our native oil down into the middle of the United States, where they have the refinery capacity to deal with it.”
The National Energy Board approved the project with a number of conditions, including consultations with Indigenous people.
“We have a very rigorous engagement program with Indigenous groups right along the line. In fact, we’ve engaged some 150 Indigenous groups,” Nogier says. “We are working with these groups, addressing any concerns that they might have, and working with them to realize economic benefits that will flow to these communities.”
The upgrade means the line will become more reliable and can handle twice as much oil as the current unit.