Majority of construction scheduled for summer of 2018 with completion targeted for fall

The National Energy Board (NEB) has approved an application from Enbridge Pipelines (NW) to replace a 2.5 km segment of its Line 21 Pipeline, also known as the Norman Wells Pipeline. Enbridge applied to the NEB on March 10, 2017 after identifying a potential safety concern related to a shifting slope on the Mackenzie River, according to a press release.

In its decision, released today, the NEB approved Enbridge’s plan to leave the section of pipe that is being replaced under the Mackenzie River, with an estimated price tag for the project at $53,000,000.

The section of pipe that is to be left behind will be cleaned, filled with grout and capped, in accordance with NEB regulations and CSA standards.

“The Line 21 Segment Replacement Project is driven through a concern for safety and integrity of the pipeline. In Nov. 2016, Enbridge shutdown Line 21 as a precautionary measure to investigate and address slope instability near the Mackenzie River crossing approximately 10 km east of Fort Simpson,” said Jesse Semko, Communications Advisor for Enbridge.

The NEB held a hearing in Fort Simpson, NT from Oct. 23 – 26, 2017 to review the application. During the hearing, the NEB heard from Enbridge, six intervenors and nine commenters including: Indigenous groups, local governments, Imperial Oil Resources N.W.T. Limited and the Government of the Northwest Territories.

“The sole purpose of the project is to resume safe operation of the existing Line 21 under exactly the same operating conditions. The diameter of the replacement section of pipe is identical to the existing pipe and no increase to capacity is proposed,” said Semko.

The NEB carried out an environmental assessment of the project and found that the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

The NEB attached a total of 26 mandatory project conditions to its approval of the project. These conditions include a requirement to file an Indigenous Monitoring Plan with the NEB.

According to Semko, Enbridge is reviewing the NEB conditions. The majority of the construction is currently scheduled for the summer of 2018 with completion targeted for the fall.

Enbridge is reviewing the NEB conditions. The majority of the construction is currently scheduled for the summer of 2018 with completion targeted for the fall.