The decision to approve the expansion with 35 conditions was based on facts, science, indigenous knowledge and public interest
The Government of Canada has approved the C$2.3bn ($1.75bn) NOVA Gas Transmission (NGTL) Ltd. 2021 System Expansion Project with 35 conditions.
The decision was taken based on facts, science, indigenous knowledge, public interest and concerns of potentially impacted Indigenous communities and wildlife considerations.
As part of the conditions, NGTL must restore 3,840 hectares of caribou habitat and should also establish an Indigenous Working Group to assist the planning of restoration and monitoring the protection of the Little Smoky Caribou range.
The Nova Gas Transmission system expansion project will add 344km of new pipeline
The expansion project will add approximately 344km of new pipeline to the existing NOVA Gas Transmission system which will stretch from west of Red Deer to near Grand Prairie, Alberta.
The Department of Natural Resources Canada said that the expansion project has significant importance in Alberta and for economies across the country.
The project will help to facilitate planned phase-out of coal-fired electricity by 2030.
Canada Natural Resources minister Seamus O’Regan said: “We want good projects to get done, moving our natural resources to new markets and creating good jobs.
“This means meeting our duty to meaningfully consult with potentially impacted Indigenous communities and addressing risks to the environment and species at risk, particularly. By taking the time to do the hard work, good projects are being built in Canada.”
Furthermore, the project is expected to create about 2,920 direct jobs during the construction phase and contribute nearly $1.2bn to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
In 2017, TransCanada announced that it will move forward with the expansion of its NOVA Gas Transmission pipeline in Canada.