TransCanada is altering the scope of the Energy East pipeline project in Québec with the decision not to build a marine and associated tank terminal at Cacouna, due to the danger that is posing to endangered Beluga whales.
Potential alternative terminal options in Québec are being reviewed. Québec and New Brunswick refineries would continue to be connected directly to Energy East, the company informed.
“This decision is the result of the recommended change in status of the Beluga whales to endangered and ongoing discussions we have had with communities and key stakeholders,” said Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and chief executive officer. “We have listened and our decision reflects that. Our goal has been to strike a balance between TransCanada’s commitment to minimizing environmental impacts and the imperative to build modern infrastructure to safely transport the energy Canadians need and consume every day.”
One of the key learnings from discussions with stakeholders was related to emergency response plans, which are developed with local agencies along the pipeline route. The development and submission of these emergency response plans will be brought to the National Energy Board (NEB) earlier in its process, the company said.
“We want Canadians to know that we have and will continue to listen,” concluded Girling. “The Energy East pipeline will be designed and operated with a singular focus on safety – that is what Canadians expect and that is what TransCanada will deliver. We all recognize that oil is essential in our daily lives. We need it to operate our vehicles, fuel airplanes, produce smart phones, manufacture heart valves and make the thousands of products we rely on every day. We must ensure the oil is transported safely and reliably and pipelines are the best way to do that.”
TransCanada will be advising the NEB that the company will not be proceeding with a marine terminal in Cacouna and is evaluating other options. Any amendments to the applications for Energy East reflecting the outcome of that evaluation are expected to be filed with the NEB in the fourth quarter of 2015. The result of this alteration to the project scope and further refinement of the project schedule is expected to result in an in service date of 2020.
The 1.1 million barrels per day (bbl/d) Energy East project has secured approximately one million bbl/d of firm, long-term contracts. The $12 billion project is an important element of TransCanada’s $46 billion of commercially secured growth projects.