The Emera Brunswick Pipeline Co. Ltd. (EBPC), a subsidiary of Emera Inc., received a favorable environmental assessment report from Canada's National Energy Board (NEB) last week on its proposed 145-kilometer (90-mile) pipeline, which will deliver natural gas from the planned Canaport liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal near Saint John, NB, to markets in Canada and the U.S. Northeast.

The main finding of the report is that the Brunswick Pipeline is not likely to result in "significant adverse environmental effects" provided EBPC meets all of its environmental commitments, and all of the NEB's recommendations are implemented. This finding is contingent on the project receiving regulatory approval. As part of the report, the NEB said EBPC would be required to consult stakeholders on the construction and reclamation plan for Rockwood Park.

A government response will now be prepared, and this will require Cabinet approval, the board said. The conclusions outlined in the report combined with the government response will be considered by the NEB as it makes its regulatory decision under the National Energy Board Act to either approve or deny the application.

Last year, Emera Inc. said it will invest approximately $350 million for full ownership of the proposed pipeline, which will travel through southwest New Brunswick and connect with the U.S. portion of the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline at the international border near Baileyville, ME. Emera has been an investor in Maritimes since its inception in 1999. Brunswick Pipeline will have a diameter of 30 inches and will be capable of carrying approximately 850 MMcf/d of regasified LNG. Capacity can be expanded with added compression. If approved, construction is planned to begin in 2007 and be completed by late 2008.

Canaport LNG project sponsors Repsol YPF and Irving Oil awarded the onshore and offshore engineering, procurement and construction contracts and issued the final notice last May to proceed with construction (see NGI, May 22, 2006). Canaport is poised to be the first new LNG receiving terminal on the East Coast of North America in decades. In February, FERC issued a favorable environmental review of Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LLC's Phase IV compression and pipeline expansion in Maine that would support the Canaport terminal (see NGI, Feb. 19).

While the Canaport LNG terminal and associated pipe projects continue to move forward, the possibility of Canadian LNG reaching U.S. markets has recently gotten a little murky. Attorneys for Quoddy Bay LNG LLC late last month called on FERC to bar U.S. transportation of natural gas from the Canaport terminal until the Canadian government has withdrawn its threat to block U.S.-bound LNG tankers from traversing its waters (see NGI, April 2).

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