From its inception, TransCanada’s proposed Energy East Pipeline has been about doing what’s right for Canada’s evolving energy sector in the best interest of all Canadians.
That’s why I’m pleased that today we announced we have reached an agreement with three of the largest natural gas distribution companies (LDCs) in Ontario and Quebec – Gaz Metro Limited Partnership (GMi), Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. and Union Gas Limited – that resolves the outstanding issues these LDCs had related to Energy East and our proposed Eastern Mainline Project.
The agreement provides further assurance that TransCanada will continue to provide the natural gas consumers in Eastern Canada need and will reduce natural gas transmission costs for all of our Canadian Mainline customers.
As part of the Energy East project, approximately 3,000 kilometres of the TransCanada’s Canadian Mainline will be converted from natural gas to crude oil service between Alberta and Quebec, in order to make better use of uncontracted pipeline capacity while creating better access for oil from Western Canada to reach Eastern Canadian refineries and international markets.
When the Energy East project was first proposed, we made assurances in writing to the Ontario and Quebec governments and the LDCs we serve in those provinces that there would continue to be sufficient capacity for customers in the east to continue to heat their homes and run their businesses. We have also reiterated that the cost of our natural gas pipeline service would not go up as a result of Energy East. We listened to the questions and concerns that were raised by the LDCs and governments, and worked with them to address their issues and honour our commitments.
Making better use of our existing cross-Canada facilities is important to us, our customers and all Canadians through the delivery of safe, efficient and more affordable supplies of the energy needed to fuel their everyday lives. Reaching this agreement with the LDCs in Ontario and Quebec allows us to do just that, while still ensuring that consumers in Eastern Canada still have the energy to continue to heat their homes and businesses for decades to come.
As we have for over 65 years, TransCanada will continue to ensure that there is sufficient natural gas pipeline capacity for consumers in Ontario and Quebec. Meeting our customers’ needs is critical to our reputation and commercial interests and we will never jeopardize that.
For more information about TransCanada’s natural gas pipelines business, visit our 2014 annual report online.
Karl Johannson is Executive Vice-President and President, Natural Gas Pipelines at TransCanada.