FREDERICTON – A spokesman for TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) says while there has been environmental opposition to the Energy East Pipeline, the project is getting support from landowners and native groups.
Philippe Cannon addressed a business audience Monday in Fredericton, stressing the safety aspects of the $12-billion development.
Cannon said despite opposition from some environmental groups, pipelines have proven safer than rail and roads for the transport of large quantities of oil.
“It’s the safest way to move large quantities of oil around,” Cannon told the city’s chamber of commerce and rotary clubs.
“So the more we engage in the conversation, the more support we get across Canada on this.”
If it goes ahead, the 4,600-kilometre Energy East Pipeline would connect 1.1 million barrels of crude per day from Alberta to refineries and export terminals in Quebec and New Brunswick.
Part of TransCanada’s proposal calls for the construction of 1,600-km new pipeline into Saint John, home of the Irving Oil refinery. Irving Oil plans to build a $300-million marine terminal near Saint John to serve as a key export point.
Cannon said TransCanada continues to work with landowners and other groups along the proposed route and has signed letters of agreements with 13 of 15 First Nations groups in New Brunswick. He said the agreements provide money to the groups for analysis of the project’s impact.
Earlier this month, the company said it has signed letters of agreement with 56 First Nations and Metis communities across the country so far.
Contractors and suppliers across the country are being encouraged to register with TransCanada for possible work on the project.
The Calgary-based pipeline giant filed a project description with the National Energy Board on March 4, which is a key step in the process to get regulatory approval.
TransCanada expects to file a full regulatory application for the project by the middle of this year, with startup expected in 2018.