The National Energy Board is allowing a liquefied natural gas pipeline in northeastern B.C. to go ahead, despite the major investor pulling out last year.
The NEB is amending its original certificate for the North Montney Mainline Project, which had previously relied on Malaysia-owned oil and gas company Petronas which was backing the Pacific NorthWest LNG project on the North Coast.
The amendment means construction can go ahead with the 300-kilometre, 42-inch-diametre pipeline to deliver gas from northern B.C. to the south.
“These facilities are critical to the timely and economic development of the tremendous natural gas resource in the North Montney play,” said Russ Girling, TransCanada Corp.’s president and chief executive officer in a news release.
The NEB had approved the northeastern pipeline back in April 2015, but Petronas’s decision on whether to proceed, based on the viability of LNG in B.C., was delayed multiple times.
Nova Gas Transmission, a subsidiary of TransCanada, told the NEB in March 2017 that its $1.4-billion North Montney project is needed independent of LNG demand, and requested the amendment of the certificate so it could go ahead without Petronas.
The energy giant announced that July that it was pulling the plug on the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, citing market conditions.
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The mainline project, based in the Peace River Regional District, would have linked with the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project, a 900-kilometre pipeline proposed to feed the Pacific NorthWest export terminal on Lelu Island, near Port Edward.
TransCanada said it is continuing to evaluate alternatives.
Nova Gas said it has signed agreements with 11 customers who want its service, starting April 2019.