Reactivating capacity on Western Transmission Gas Line

Project will deliver a rate benefit and maintain PNG’s high safety, reliability and environmental standards

Pacific Northern Gas Ltd. (PNG) announced the launch of Indigenous and community engagement on its plans to reactivate capacity on the Western Transmission Gas Line, enabling the delivery of increased natural gas volumes to meet the supply required for new industrial customers.

As a regulated utility, PNG safely and reliably provides natural gas service to residential, business and industrial customers within its service areas in the Northeast and Northwest of B.C.

“For more than a decade, the Western Transmission Gas Line has been transporting gas well below its capacity due to several large industrial customers such as Skeena Cellulose, Methanex and West Fraser closing their local operations,” said Brock John, Director, Business Development and Stakeholder Engagement. “Recently, we’ve signed agreements with new industrial customers. To meet their service requirements, we are now proposing the PNG Reactivate Capacity Project to restore portions of the system currently not in use, upgrade other components and add additional compression.”

Detailed engineering assessments and system enhancements are required in advance of PNG being able to increase the amount of gas in its system. Specific project work includes the reactivation of four existing compressor stations and sections of pipe serving the stations. PNG also plans to install short pipeline extensions from the existing main line to the new customers’ locations. Additional compression will be supplied by two new compressor stations, one planned for the Terrace Airport Industrial Park and the other to be in proximity to PNG’s existing pipeline system assets near the Salvus Highway Maintenance Yard / Kasiks Lodge.

PNG’s respect for the environment guides its decisions and project planning. Work will adhere to all federal and provincial environmental guidelines as well as PNG’s project-specific and corporate Environmental Management Plans and Archaeological Mitigation Plans. 

“Another exciting aspect of this project is the positive impact it will have on customer rates,” said John. “Increasing the amount of natural gas flowing through the system, with new industrial loads for example, will have a positive impact on the delivery rates for our more than 20,400 customers in the region.”

The revenue from the additional natural gas volumes is also anticipated to offset the approximate $60-million cost associated with this project. When approved, the project will represent a significant investment in Northwest B.C. and create economic and employment opportunities for the region.

The project is in the early planning stages, as PNG prepares to submit a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity application for approval by the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC). PNG anticipates that the application will be filed this winter, with a BCUC decision in the summer of 2021. Following approval, construction would begin in the fall of 2021 with completion slated for the spring of 2024. PNG is engaging with the Indigenous communities and the public in advance of the BCUC application submission and will continue engagement throughout all project phases.

“We look forward to sharing our early plans and anticipated jobs and training opportunities with Indigenous and community leaders.  PNG  will also be reaching out to the broader public to share information and seek input through our website, toll-free project phone line, project email and virtual information sessions,” said John.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for physical distancing, PNG will be hosting virtual information sessions for the public on Wednesday, November 25 and Monday, November 30 between 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm each evening.

To learn more about the project, provide feedback or register for an information session visit www.png.ca/projects/recap. Questions about the project will be answered through the project email ReCapProject@png.ca or via the toll-free project phone line at 1-888-709-7304.