AltaGas Ltd. has received approval from the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) for its Harmattan Co-stream Project.

The Co-stream Project will allow 250 MMcf/d of rich, sweet natural gas sourced from the NOVA Western Alberta System to be processed using spare capacity at the Harmattan Complex to recover ethane and natural gas liquids. It will expand the availability of feedstock for Alberta's petrochemical industry and retain extraction revenues and value in Alberta in an economical manner, AltaGas said.

The current throughput at the Harmattan Complex is approximately 150 MMcf/d, or 30% of the licensed plant capacity. The Co-stream Project involves constructing and operating two large-diameter high-pressure sweet natural gas pipelines and one small-diameter high-vapor pressure product pipeline, as well as modifying existing equipment for processing gas at the complex.

"The Harmattan Co-stream Project promotes responsible competition by creating a competitive option for shippers," said AltaGas CEO David Cornhill.

AltaGas entered into a memorandum of understanding with Nova Chemicals Corp. in 2009 that said definitive agreements would be for an initial term of 20 years and would have AltaGas deliver all liquids or co-stream gas products on a full cost-of-service basis to NOVA Chemicals. The agreement provides that all capital expenditures and operating costs related to the proposed project will be fully recovered through fees under normal operations.

Construction of the project is expected to take 14 months.

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