Pipeline giant TransCanada Corp. is forging ahead with its Energy East pipeline project, which will pump 1.1 million barrels of oil per day across the country, including over the plains of western Manitoba.
And as part of its public relations regarding the enormous $12-billion undertaking, the company is holding open houses across the country, including one in Brandon on Tuesday.
Between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., officials from the pipeline company will be taking questions from the public at the Royal Canadian Legion at 560 13th St. East.
“We invite people to meet our experts,” said Energy East spokesperson Philippe Cannon. “They can ask questions on the topic they wish to ask, whether it be land, safety, environment.”
TransCanada plans to repurpose existing natural gas lines into crude oil lines, including the lengths running through Manitoba, so no new pipelines will be built locally.
As a result, the economic spinoffs around the project in Manitoba are miniscule compared to Alberta and New Brunswick, the two provinces that stand to gain the most.
The company says it will take the feedback from the flurry of open houses across Canada and submit them to the National Energy Board during the approval process, which it hopes to do by the beginning of 2014.
“It’s important for people to come and see us,” Cannon said.
On Aug. 1, TransCanada Corp. chief executive officer Russ Girling announced that his company had enough commercial support to go ahead with Energy East, which would send 1.1 million barrels of crude a day across six provinces — up from the originally estimated 900,000 barrels.
It was an important milestone, but just one of many hurdles Energy East needs to clear before any work actually begins, not the least of which would be obtaining regulatory approval. Environmentalists have vowed to fight the project and it’s not clear whether Quebec is behind it.
Currently, Manitoba Hydro ships almost 100 per cent of its natural gas through the existing TransCanada pipeline from Alberta, however they assured there will be no change in natural gas supply to the area.
» firstname.lastname@example.org, with files from The Canadian Press
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 19, 2013