Big Builds

Big Builds

We introduce you to 10 energy and mining projects that promise to transform Atlantic Canada

Mining and energy companies have big plans for Atlantic Canada. Proponents are building, or proposing to build, a vast array of worldclass industrial developments. They include offshore oil platforms, pipelines, potash and tungsten mines, liquefied natural gas export terminals, wind farms and hydro projects. These projects will costs billions of dollars to complete, create thousands of jobs, and in some cases power homes and businesses for decades. While provinces on Canada’s east coast often play second fiddle to the likes of Ontario, Quebec and Alberta on the national stage, the projects profiled in the following pages are second to none.

Energy East Pipeline

There was no mistaking the mood of TransCanada Corporation president and CEO Russ Girling during a quarterly earnings conference call last summer as he announced the Calgary-based company would charge ahead with building the 4,500 kilometre-long Energy East Pipeline. “This is a historic day for TransCanada and a historic day for our country,” he said.

The decision was indeed historic for TransCanada. It would be the company’s first pipeline to ship crude oil from Western Canada to tidewater on the East Coast. As for being a historic development for Canada, along the lines of building the TransCanada Highway and the Canadian Pacific Railway (Girling referenced both during the call), we’ll let you be the judge of that.

There’s little doubt many politicians and business leaders in New Brunswick would agree with Girling’s assessment. The project would see an existing natural gas pipeline converted to ship oil. And new pipe would have to be built in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, eastern Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick to link up with the converted line. Once constructed, it would supply eastern refineries like Irving Oil’s 350,000 bpd operation in Saint John and would feed into a marine tanker terminal at the city’s port where the oil would be exported to other markets.

According to an analysis of the project commissioned by TransCanada, the economic impact of Energy East on New Brunswick would be significant. The additional GDP generated in the province during the project’s development phase (six years) and operations phase (40 years) is estimated at $2.8 billion. The analysis also says the project would create over 3,700 full-time jobs in New Brunswick during its development and construction and 385 full-time jobs during its 40-year life.

But the pipeline is still just a concept. TransCanada says it will file its regulatory application for Energy East with the National Energy Board sometime in 2014. If it is approved, TransCanada says the New Brunswick portion of the project will be completed by 2018. Which goes to show when you’re trying to make history, it doesn’t happen overnight.

Location: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick
Capital cost: $12 billion
Shipping capacity: 1.1 million barrels per day

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