SAINT JOHN, N.B. – TransCanada has delayed its goal of filing an application for its proposed Energy East Pipeline with the National Energy Board until next year, the company’s vice-president of eastern business development said Thursday.
Steve Pohlod told an energy conference in Saint John, N.B., that there is too much work to do to be able to meet its initial goal of filing the application for the $12-billion project before the end of this year.
“There is still work we have to do out in the field and environmental work that we still have to undertake,” he said.
“There is work that is required as a result of the changes in scope and the changes in route that we are still contemplating.”
The 4,500-kilometre Energy East Pipeline would ship up to 1.1 million barrels per day of oil from Alberta to refineries and export terminals in Quebec and New Brunswick.
The proposal involves converting a portion of TransCanada’s underused natural gas mainline to oil service and building 1,400 kilometres of new pipeline to Saint John.
Pohlod said TransCanada (TSX:TRP) won’t be able to address everyone’s concerns with the route.
“You do have to listen to the concerns of the people and you have to seriously consider them and look at whether you can address and can accommodate them.”
TransCanada has heard a variety of concerns with the route as it holds open house public meetings across the country.
The mayor of Edmundston, N.B., for instance, has called on the company to guarantee that the pipeline would not harm the area’s watershed. TransCanada has revised the proposed route but Simard has asked for further revisions.
Also Thursday, the president of Irving Oil told the conference that plans for a proposed new marine terminal for oil exports would have to be expanded because of the pipeline’s increased capacity.
Irving announced in August that it planned to partner with TransCanada to build a $300-million marine terminal at its Canaport facility near its refinery in Saint John to export crude from the pipeline to foreign markets. But Paul Browning said that was based on an original estimate of the pipeline carrying about 850,000 barrels per day, which has since been increased to 1.1 million barrels.
“There’s enough crude coming our way now that we’ve decided we need to expand it to be a two-berth jetty and we can take two large tankers simultaneously,” Browning said. “So that investment estimate will be revised upward as we do the engineering.”
He said the terminal project will also require National Energy Board approval but it will be included as part of the overall pipeline application.
Last month, a report by Deloitte & Touche predicted 10,071 direct full-time equivalent jobs across the country will be needed to develop and build the Energy East project until 2018.
Once the pipeline is up and running, Deloitte sees the creation of 1,081 direct jobs.