The approval, which is subject to 36 conditions, allows TransCanada's wholly-owned subsidiary NGTL to move ahead with the gas pipeline expansion project to provide important additional capacity.

Expected to create up to 3,000 jobs during construction phase, the expansion project is designed to meet the increased natural gas transmission capacity demand along the existing NGTL system.

TransCanada president and CEO Russ Girling said: "TransCanada's natural gas system has played a key role transporting growing natural gas supplies from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) to premium markets across North America, providing significant benefits for our customers, consumers, communities and governments for more than 65 years.

“Expansion of the NGTL System is an important part of TransCanada's industry-leading $25bn near-term capital program."

The expansion involves development of five new pipeline sections totaling 230km and the addition of two compression facilities.

NGTL plans to commission the first facility in the second quarter of 2017 while the entire project is scheduled to be completed by the second quarter of 2018.

The current NGTL System is designed to gather approximately 75% of WCSB production.

It has transported an average volume of approximately 11.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), compared to the 2015 average of 11 Bcf/d.