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TransCanada Increases Budget for Energy East Pipeline

TransCanada announced it has filed to amend its existing application with the National Energy Board, hoping to adjust the proposed route, scope and capital cost of the Energy East pipeline project.

The new plan makes almost 700 changes to the pipeline, which would take Alberta crude to an Irving Oil refinery in New Brunswick, in response to concerns for environmentally sensitive areas, such as the Bay of Fundy, in Atlantic Canada.

The new projected capital cost excludes the transfer of Canadian Mainline natural gas assets.

The changes to the project’s scope resulted in an increase in the project’s expected employment opportunities and economic benefits.

TransCanada continues to argue that the Energy East pipeline will put the brakes on the equivalent of 1,570 rail cars of crude oil per day to Eastern Canada – an argument that misses the point of opponents who counter that oil sands bitumen must remain in the ground. “In so doing, we also want to make sure that safety and environmental protection are safeguarded”.

The largest change driving the cost increase was an expansion of a marine export terminal in Saint John, New Brunswick, to 13 million barrels (MMBbls), from 7.6 MMBbls after the company scrapped plans for a second facility in Quebec Province. The need for eastern Canadian refineries to import hundreds of thousands of barrels of higher-priced foreign oil will be reduced, TransCanada added.

The pipeline is expected to begin operations in 2020.

For the first 20 years of operations, the project is expected to create an additional 3,300 annual direct and indirect full time jobs.

In its filing with the NEB, TransCanada also included projected labour market statistics citing an updated Conference Board of Canada report which forecasts the creation of 14,000 direct and indirect jobs from the Energy East project.

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