The Quoddy Tides

Eastport, Maine

2009 Jan 23

Gas pipeline finished; LNG imports start soon

by Edward French

The new natural gas pipeline extending from the Canaport LNG terminal near Saint John to the New Brunswick/Maine border is expected to be completed later this month. The 30-inch diameter pipeline connects with the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline on the St. Croix River at the border in Baileyville.

Susan Harris, community relations manager for Brunswick Pipeline, says that as of January 15 two sections of the 145-kilometre pipeline have been approved by the National Energy Board for gas transmission and three more need approval. The Canaport LNG terminal near Saint John is expected to receive its first liquefied natural gas shipment in March or April of this year. The Canaport facility, being developed by a partnership of Irving Oil Ltd. and Repsol YPF, will have an initial send-out capacity of one billion cubic feet of regasified LNG per day. Repsol YPF, an international oil and gas company based in Spain, expects to supply LNG to Canaport from its Trinidad and Tobago supplies and eventually also from Algeria.

The natural gas that will be delivered to the Canaport terminal will supply markets in the northeastern U.S. and Canada. Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline recently added compressors on the U.S. side to double that pipeline's capacity in order to handle the natural gas from the Canaport LNG terminal.

Harris says that no laterals to supply gas to users along the Brunswick Pipeline are planned at this time, but Emera Inc., the Nova Scotia-based energy company that owns the pipeline, will consider any applications for laterals. The applications would be made either by Enbridge Gas New Brunswick, which has the franchise to supply natural gas to residential customers in the province, or industrial users. At present, residential demands are being met through the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline.

The new gas pipeline shares easements in some areas with the new power line that was completed in 2007. The 345-kilovolt transmission line, which also crosses the border in Baileyville, runs from Orrington to the Point Lepreau nuclear generating station. "We were able to minimize the number of trees cut by sharing the corridor," says Harris.

Lax environmental monitoring of pipeline project charged

David Coon of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick agrees that forest fragmentation has been less because the new gas line largely runs near the power line in this area. He notes, though, that the power line had already fragmented the forest, and the corridor was widened for the gas line.

Coon is concerned that the environmental monitoring by the provincial Department of Environment appears to have lessened about halfway through the construction of the new natural gas line. He says that dry crossings of streams, by boring under the water, were required at first, but wet crossings, which can be done more quickly, were allowed during the latter portion of the work. "The province backed off on the level of environmental performance as they got closer to the finish date," he says.

Brunswick Pipeline recently began mailing a booklet to people living within 800 metres of the pipeline that contains instructions in the event of an emergency with the pipeline. Pipeline representatives will visit with residents and businesses within 200 metres of the pipeline over the next few months. 


© 2009 The Quoddy Tides
Eastport, Maine
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.