Merrick Mainline Pipeline Project, British Columbia, Canada

Merrick Mainline Project is a proposed natural gas pipeline to be constructed by NOVA Gas Transmission (NGTL), a wholly owned subsidiary of TransCanada PipeLines (TransCanada). NGTL will operate the new pipeline and related facilities in north-east British Columbia, Canada, to cater to the rising demand for natural gas.

The pipeline will be built in the Peace River and Caribou regional districts. It will be an extension of the NGTL System, connecting Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) gas supply to BC, Pacific Northwest and emerging LNG export markets via the NOVA Inventory Transfer (NIT) gas market hub.

It will start from the Groundbirch Mainline, 35km west of Dawson Creek, and end near Summit Lake, 42km north of Prince George.

NGTL is involved in the field studies, environmental and socioeconomic assessments, engineering design, aboriginal and stakeholder engagement, regulatory consultation and other activities needed to advance the project proposal.

"The project is proposed to come online in the first quarter of 2020, subject to regulatory approvals."

It made an agreement with Chevron and Apache in June 2014 for transporting approximately 1.9 billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas a day to support the development of the Merrick Mainline project.

Project timeline

The project is proposed to come online in the first quarter of 2020, subject to regulatory approvals. The proposal phase of the project began in 2013, while construction is expected to start in 2016. An application with the National Energy Board (NEB) will be filed later in 2015.

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Merrick Mainline design

The project will include an approximately 260km (161 miles) long, 48in-diameter natural gas pipeline, and corresponding facilities and components such as valve sites, an interconnect meter station, launcher and receiver facilities, cathodic protection facilities and other ancillary works.

In addition to permanent fixtures, certain temporary infrastructures will also be built such as access roads, construction camps, stockpile sites and contractor yards.

New power transmission lines will be constructed to meet the power requirements of the metering facility, valve sites and grounding beds. The lines will be owned and operated by third-party power providers.

Pipeline route and alignment

The Merrick Mainline will begin as a tie-in with the existing Groundbirch mainline and end at the proposed Merrick interconnect meter station near the Summit Lake.

NEXUS Gas Transmission Pipeline, Ohio to Michigan, USA

The NEXUS gas transmission pipeline is a proposed greenfield, interstate pipeline.

Following a southwesterly direction from the Groundbirch mainline, the pipeline will cross the Murray and the Sukunka rivers and then run on a south-southwesterly route before crossing the Burnt and Parsnip Rivers and finally terminating at the Merrick interconnect meter station.

Approximately 182km of the pipeline will pass alongside the proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline, while an estimated 31km of the pipeline will be laid as 'new cut' right-of-way (ROW). The remaining will be placed beside the existing pipelines, roads, electrical power lines and seismic cuts.

Benefits of the Merrick Mainline project

The proposed pipeline will ensure the safe transmission of natural gas on the NGTL system. It is expected to boost the economy by creating employment opportunities during the construction and operation.

The project is estimated to promote the local business by generating a demand for local amenities and services including food and housing, hardware, industrial parts, automotive parts and servicing, fuel and other supplies.

TransCanada NGTL system

The NGTL system is an integrated natural gas pipeline system set-up in north-eastern BC and Alberta. It encompasses approximately 24,400km of pipelines and related facilities.Operated by TransCanada, the NGTL system supplies natural gas to Western Canadian markets and has links with other pipelines that deliver natural gas to North American markets. It has connections with pipelines such as the TransCanada Mainline at Empress, and TransCanada's wholly owned Foothills System in Western Canada.

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