The average annual capacity of the new Line 3 pipeline in the US will be 760,000 barrels per day

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Line 3 Replacement Project will fully replace the existing Line 3 crude oil pipeline between Canada and the US. (Credit: Johannes Rupf from Pixabay)

Enbridge has started construction on its $6.9bn Line 3 Replacement Project in Minnesota after securing all necessary permits and approvals.

The project calls for the full replacement of the 34-inch 1,765km long Line 3 crude oil pipeline laid between Canada and the US in the 1960s with a new 36-inch pipe.

In Minnesota, Enbridge will be laying a 542km pipeline stretch as part of the project.

The last of the permit needed by the project was a construction stormwater permit, which was issued by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). Prior to this, the pipeline replacement project secured the last of the federal permits from the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The US part of replacement project to cost $2.9bn

In the US, the Line 3 Replacement Project, which involves an investment of $2.9bn, will cover the states of Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Following the replacement, the average annual capacity of the new Line 3 pipeline in the US will be 760,000 barrels per day.

Enbridge had already commissioned a 22.5km stretch under the project in Wisconsin in May 2018. It had completed construction on the 21km stretch in North Dakota in October 2020.

Enbridge executive vice president and liquid pipelines president Vern Yu said: “This is a historic day for the Line 3 project which will strengthen the safety of the system for years to come.

“With all of the permits in hand, we can now start construction.

“Safety remains our top priority, and we will be implementing an industry leading COVID management plan to protect our workforce and the communities in which we will be working.”

Once fully commissioned, the Line 3 Replacement Project is expected to help in delivering secure, reliable, and growing supplies of North American crude oil to Minnesota and the nearby regions.

The Canadian part of the pipeline replacement project was brought online in December 2019.