Energy East pipeline completion date pushed back to 2020

Written By Unknown on Kamis, 02 April 2015 | 22.39

The earliest date when oilsands crude from western Canada could begin flowing to Saint John is being pushed back two years by Energy East pipeline proponent TransCanada Corp.

The company announced the new in-service date of 2020 on Thursday, as it officially announced it is abandoning plans for a terminal is Cacouna, Que., as part of the $12-billion project.

Beluga whales are found in the St. Lawrence River in the Cacouna area and a recommended change in status of the whales to an endangered species factored into the company's decision to ditch its plans for a terminal there.

"Our goal has been to strike a balance between TransCanada's commitment to minimize environmental impacts and the imperative to build modern infrastructure to safely transport the energy Canadians need and consume every day," said TransCanada president Russ Girling in a release.

The company says it is exploring other options for a terminal in Quebec.

TransCanada Corp. says any amendments to its application setting from its evaluation of other options in Quebec are expected to be filed with the National Energy Board in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The proposed 4,600-kilometre pipeline would carry 1.1 million barrels a day of oilsands crude from western Canada to refineries in Quebec and New Brunswick. It would terminate at Irving Oil's Canaport facility, which is located at the entrance to Saint John Harbour.

The Quebec government has imposed a number of conditions on TransCanada for it to accept the project. One of the conditions is that the project generate economic benefits for Quebec.

The National Energy Board has received 1,805 applications to participate in hearings on the proposed pipeline.

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