CHETWYND, B.C. — The $170-million Wyndwood Pipeline Expansion Project has been approved by the National Energy Board (NEB).
Westcoast Energy will build and operate the 27-kilometre project.
The NEB expects to issue detailed reasons behind the approval next month.
The approval comes with 32 conditions, including the requirement to develop a Landowner-Specific Monitoring Plan and Consultation Update and a number of conditions related to minimizing disturbances within caribou ranges and accelerating the restoration of caribou habitat.
Westcoast submitted its application Oct. 21, 2016 under section 58 of the National Energy Board Act.
According to a press release issued by the NEB, these types of applications do not require a public hearing. However, given the high level of public interest in the project, the NEB decided to hold a hearing in order to consider the input of those who could be directly affected or who have expertise to share. Oral hearings were held on April 5 in Calgary and June 6 and 7 in Chetwynd, B.C. The NEB also gathered input through written comments, questions and evidence.
After considering all the evidence, the NEB found that the project was in the Canadian public interest.
The expansion would parallel a majority of the existing pipeline right-of-way. The loop would start southwest of Chetwynd, near Stone Creek, and extend west along the Pine River Valley to Compressor Station 2 at Willow Flats. In addition to the new pipeline segment, modifications will need to be made to Compressor Station 2 to accommodate an increased gas flow of approximately 50 million cubic feet per day, the release reads. Westcoast estimates the project will be completed next year.
There were 16 applications to participate in the hearing process and 14 were granted intervenor status and one was granted commenter status. One application was rejected and another withdrew from the hearing process.
As this project falls under section 58 of the National Energy Board Act, the NEB is the final decision maker and Cabinet approval is not required.