Coastal GasLink could potentially help service other LNG projects in Kitimat

TransCanada representatives were in Kitimat recently to talk about the proposed natural gas line to service LNG Canada.

When TransCanada representatives came through Kitimat recently they wanted to listen to community comments ahead of filing for an environmental assessment for the proposed Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline to be built to service the proposed Canada LNG terminal in Kitimat.

But what the community also heard was that the pipeline also has the potential to service the other LNG projects for Kitimat, specifically BC LNG Co-Op and Kitimat LNG.

No deals or arrangements have been made or announced (And BC LNG is said to use existing capacity on the Pacific Northern Gas pipeline owned by AltaGas), but the capacity of the pipe, for about 300 km at its eastern end near Dawson Creek, will be available for third-party clients, said Coastal GasLink president Rick Gateman.

He said such an arrangement, which would be arranged through TransCanada’s sister company NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd., could save other companies money who need to bring their gas product to the west coast. The furthest the pipeline would carry other people’s natural gas is near to Vanderhoof.

The proposed Coastal GasLink line is set to have a capacity of 1.7 billion cubic feet per day (bcf) of natural gas, which may expand to 3.4 bcf if Canada LNG expands their production. The pipeline will start with one compressor but if capacity grows they will build additional ones along the route.

TransCanada’s existing pipeline network is monitored 24 hours a day he said, out of a control centre in Calgary.

Meanwhile TransCanada’s director of project planning and execution said that as they develop the route for the GasLink pipeline they hope to follow, as best they can, the proposed Pacific Trails Pipeline (which is planned to service Kitimat LNG).

He was on hand for questions during the company’s open house at the Riverlodge, where people could ask questions of the company.

He said they will work hard to keep work and support local as they build the line. He said a work camp would be established during construction, which is expected to last up to two-and-a-half years.

He said conversations with so far 32 First Nations have also been going well.

Construction is estimated to begin in mid-2015 for a start at the end of the decade to meet Canada LNG’s proposed start-up date.

TransCanada’s community relations advisor Jaimie Harding said that the province stands to benefit from $17 million in annual property taxes, $2.5 million set to go to the Regional District of Kitimat Stikine.

Back to Gateman, he said they expect to file for evironmental review in early 2014.

“We’re just getting together our information to file with the BC Environmental Assessment office,” he said, adding they will also file with other agencies, such as the BC Oil and Gas Commission.

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