Enbridge Proposes Expansion of B.C.'s Westcoast Pipeline to Meet Growing Gas Demand

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Enbridge Proposes Expansion of B.C.'s Westcoast Pipeline to Meet Growing Gas Demand

British Columbia on the map (© Shutterstock/Tudoran Andrei)
British Columbia on the map (© Shutterstock/Tudoran Andrei)

North American Pipeline major, Enbridge Inc. has proposed an expansion of the Westcoast Pipeline in British Columbia to meet growing natural gas demand in the province and the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

As reported by Energetic City on Friday, June 7, 2024, the Sunrise Expansion Program would expand the southern portion of the pipeline, known as Transmission-South, according to Aaron Mannella, a senior advisor with Enbridge.

The project involves adding 137 kilometers of looping pipeline with a 42-inch diameter to boost natural gas transportation capacity by 300 million cubic feet per day.

“We began by gauging natural gas demand through an open season process with potential shippers,” Mannella said.

The Westcoast Pipeline has been operational for 70 years, delivering natural gas for heating homes and businesses, powering hospitals and schools, and generating electricity.

"The original pipeline was a 30-inch diameter line installed in the 1950s, with a 36-inch diameter line added in the 1970s," Mannella said.

Regulated by the Canada Energy Regulator (CER), the Westcoast system is an interprovincial pipeline. The company submitted its application for the project to the CER on May 30, 2024, with the construction anticipated to begin in 2026 and be completed by the end of 2028.

Westcoast Energy Inc., an Enbridge company, owns and operates the Westcoast/BC Pipeline system, a major natural gas transmission network spanning over 2,900 kilometers from Fort Nelson and Gordondale (near the Alberta border) to the Canada-U.S. border and Huntington/Sumas.

“We're proud of our nearly 70-year history operating in British Columbia and recognize the vital role the gas we transport plays in our society,” Mannella said.

The company will implement a socio-economic management plan to minimize project impact on local communities, acknowledging the presence of Indigenous groups in the area, Mannella added.

Temporary lodging and parking will require about 10 acres of land, housing up to 120 workers during construction. Workplace health and safety training, human rights protection, and human trafficking prevention awareness will be prioritized throughout the project, Mannella said.

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